Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On the Cloture Rule
Monday, July 27, 2020
Former Vice President Biden and Minority Leader Schumer have indicated a willingness to end the so-called filibuster if Democrats gain a majority in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Democrats used that same rule to prevent even taking up Senator Scott’s very thoughtful police reform legislation.
The rule in question is the cloture rule, which brings debate and amendments to a close.
What Democrats blocked was ending debate on proceeding to police reform and starting to consider amendments, but it would have taken another cloture vote to get to final passage.
The cloture rule ensures that no police reform bill could have passed the Senate unless at least 60 senators were satisfied with the outcome of the amendment process.
In other words, it guarantees that the concerns of the minority party would be addressed.
So, there was no excuse for preventing the Senate from even beginning the legislative process on this extremely important and timely issue.
There is also no excuse for Democrats who claimed to oppose the 60 vote requirement to cut off debate on principle when they were last in the majority – who then immediately began using it to block bills that had majority support when they lost their majority – and who continue to use it to block progress on important issues today – but who fully admit they will change this Senate institution if it suits their partisan purposes in the future.