Filibuster

Where the 2020 candidates stand on abolishing the filibuster

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, President Donald Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Photo credits left to right: Scott Olson/Getty Images; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As 2020 Democratic candidates campaign for sweeping changes to the tax system, immigration, health care, gun control and corruption, a few candidates have suggested that, if elected, they would direct their Senate allies to abolish the filibuster, a tactic used by senators to delay or block legislative action.

The big picture: Regardless of a candidate's stance on filibusters, the Senate makes its own rules at the discretion of the majority party. Democrats would have to win back the Senate to ban filibusters.

Where 2020 Democrats stand on ending the Senate filibuster

This image is a four-way split screen of Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, and Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photos: Getty Images

2020 Democrats are divided over whether to abolish the Senate filibuster, with some candidates opting to merely reform the rule and others pushing to eliminate it altogether.

Why it matters: Killing the filibuster is likely the only way Democrats could advance major progressive policies 2020 candidates are promising — like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All — even if they secured unified control of Washington, because such legislation often gets filibustered in the Senate so long as Republicans maintain a supermajority.