Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Arkansas Senators: Don't bust filibuster

Sen. Tom Cotton; Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Sen. John Boozman; Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Sen. Tom Cotton; Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Sen. John Boozman; Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Both of Arkansas' Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton made statements this week in defense of the chamber's filibuster rule.

Driving the news: President Biden attended the Senate Democratic caucus lunch Thursday to make a case for reforming the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

The backdrop: The House of Representatives earlier Thursday passed a voting rights bill that combines the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act, Axios' Ivan Saric writes.

  • That package now advances to the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle amid a lack of Republican support. Democrats are considering changing the chamber's filibuster rules to pass the bill.

What they're saying: In an opinion piece for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Boozman wrote that the filibuster is "a tool that helps prevent radical, swift legislative changes that would sow confusion and uncertainty is invaluable.”

  • He continues, “As such, I intend to continue protecting it."

Cotton's statement largely quoted Democrat Sen. Chuck Shumer, who defended the filibuster in 2005.

  • In Cotton's own words: "Think about it—the narrowest majority in Senate history wants to break the Senate rules to control how voters in every state elect senators. Could there be a better argument to preserve the Senate’s rules, customs, and traditions?"

Of note: Late on Thursday, both Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona said they do not support eliminating the filibuster.

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