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tv   Senate Democrats on Filibuster Vote  CSPAN  April 2, 2017 7:10pm-7:29pm EDT

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senate's history and traditions and precedents. it relies on the goodwill of senators who don't want to see the senate has we know it destroyed. >> that same day senate democrats held a news conference on the rules change with senator chuck schumer, harry reid, and patty murray. >> thank you, first i want us -- want to thank senator reed for his leadership. we all know today's a sad day. things should have never gotten to this point. an extreme group has waged a successful war on government. thatlieve firmly government must function to help average families.
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but unfortunately there's a group on the hard right who wants to stop everything dead in its tracks. executive nominees and legislation. we have seen their success. we've seen the wings of the republican party and believes -- when aysfunction judges blocked their goal is served. when a cabinet post goes unfulfilled for months on end they think they win. dysfunction is their goal. as soon -- 9% rating is a cry by the american people for the congress . our income is declining. our lives are becoming more difficult. stop the gridlock.
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republicans are grinding the senate to a near standstill. and they're using rules intended to bring people together the terrace apartment the age old rules of the senate are being used to paralyze us. and the public is asking, begging us to act. the rules given advantage to those who want to prevent the senate from achieving anything. mitch mcconnell says we try to change the subject, i beg to differ. he does not want to address the filibusters. he doesn't want to address the rules change, but three quarters of his speech is dedicated to obamacare. we are not changing the subject today, he is. he doesn't want to discuss the the republicans have used to tie this place into one big knot.
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is for action and one who is opposed, the senate rules give the opposition a head start. and republicans have abused that advantage for years now, by judges, confirm preventing executive agencies from having the leaders they deserve. it's a new world. people demand action. the old rules need to be modified. that's what we have done today. we have modified them in ways that can make things work. who in america doesn't think that a president, democrat or republican, deserves his or her pick for who should run the agencies. nobody. of there is a long list cabinet and subcabinet level positions. not just the most recent. it hadn't come to this,
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but the american people deserve a functioning government, not gridlock. and our government continues to be gridlocked. people are going to lose total faith in government and it will be a different america. it was imperative to change the rules to break the lock and that is what we have done today. >> what is at issue here is our ability to have a functioning judiciary government. unprecedented obstruction, the steps that were taken today simply allows us to exercise our duty to confirm justices and presidential appointees. earlier we thought we had reached a deal that would avoid this. the majority leader did everything he could to make it clear he was open to compromise. side of the other i'll have shown time and again that they refuse to allow up or down votes.
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nobody comes to this decision easily. i have served here in the majority and the minority. but i have also been around long enough to know this is an entirely new level of obstruction. we have seen abusive rules that have wasted time and that is intended to hurt our ability to work on behalf of the american people. this has to change. we have given republicans every opportunity to change this strategy. unfortunately they gave us no choice but to act by refusing to give up or down votes on qualified candidates who deserve -- who the american people deserve to have in place. >> talking about the slowdown. would any of these have an impact on the budget deal? secondly, if you know the
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speaker -- >> that's a lot of questions. >> [indiscernible] all, i will ask some of the marines that question. i do want to respond partially washis -- i think it written by the new york times, she writes for the times. wonder, great a things have been going on. that's what it has come to. i wouldn't be surprised had we not done this. senate murray, respond to that budget stuff. would say chairman ryan and i are working closely together to find a path forward in good faith. >> before you made this decision, to what extent does it have a long-term consequence to this republican take back in the senate and pushed through judges that overturn and weaken the
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filibuster so they can easily repeal obamacare? >> as i mentioned earlier, this country did really well for 140 years. on ending the filibuster was in 1919. the country did great up until then. the filibuster was put in place to get things done. it has been turned on its head, now it is being used to stop everything. triedlibuster has really extremely hard. i have been criticized by a lot of people for having gone through two congresses. i wanted to get along. let's just get along. i've tried that. as i try this on the floor
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today, they have simply not told the truth. look at what has happened. the thing about this is they don't deny they are doing it. that is what is so interesting. we understand all the considerations. what could they do more to slow down the country? what could they do more than what they have already done? we have all been in congress a long time. -- senator murray has been in the senate a long time. done.e here to get things there was a time when we used to do that. talk, we knowappy
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you are right. we know you are right. they vote together on everything and only to despair the president of the united states. -- disparage the president of united states. >> [indiscernible] >> good, let him do it. dam wellry did pretty for 140 years. i think we are beyond seeing who out talk the other. let's get some work done. let him do whatever he wants to. >> won't this come back to bite you once you are in the minority? >> this is the way it has to be. the senate has changed. the senate has changed. look what has happened.
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if we have a republican president and he shouldn't have to team -- and we think he shouldn't have the team he wants, one thing people need to majority issimple not coined be a piece of cake in every instance. democrats don't like some of the nominees president obama put forward, good. let's work together. fear of this whatsoever, having served in the house where it is majority rule. it is a bicameral legislature. the majority vote is not so bad. republicans -- had republicans made this move itz would be a black chapter. why isn't this a black chapter? then, there was a speech saying we can't do this. it would be a bad day. and we help make it a bad day. i was part of that deal.
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do you realize with my consent we allowed janice rogers to go into court, kevin to go into that court? things have changed dramatically since 2005. they have done everything they can to deny the fact that obama was elected and then reelected. during the last congress republican leader mcconnell said his number one goal was to defeat obama. obama is privy and reelected. floorknowledge on the that things change. i have said publicly i don't know if there is a bigger
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advocate on the floor that was passed. i didn't always feel that way. i have a right to change how i feel about things. >> we preferred have a risk of up-and-down votes than the risk of continued total obstruction. that is the bottom line. the matter who is in power. >> how will that affect right now? >> here's what they should do, here is my suggestion. we wasted days and weeks and months of weak to time. 30 hours. they should yield that back. vote on the defense bill. that would allow senator levin to go to conference with the senate, i mean with the house. their bill is not perfect.
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we need a defense bill. that's what i suggest to republicans. i don't know what they are going to do, but that's what they should do. angstre really is this about the defense, what they should do is let them start the conference with the house. i have ignored somebody. given what you have said -- >> do you realize i knew you when you didn't have gray hair? [laughter] >> given the logic of what you filibuster,out the why leave it in place back a why not just eviscerated? stronglycus felt very that the supreme court, we felt we were doing the right thing by saying let's set the supreme court separate. it is something we don't want to be jamming anybody on that.
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i would hope that no one would ever use -- we have tried that. ago. he really tried to do that. supreme court, we think that is a separate part of our country and constitution. ofdon't they want to get rid the filibuster on the supreme court anyway? >> let them do it. why the world would we care? about we arets going to change the rules more, as senator schumer said, what is the choice? continue or have democracy? today on meet the press, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and minority leader chuck schumer were asked about the rules change in 2013. and what rules changes may be in store this week during debate on neil gorsuch's supreme court nomination.
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>> here is that was very concerned when this rule was changed by harry reid for judges below the supreme court. if you regret what harry reid did, why continue down this slippery slope? >> i think breaking the rules of the senate to change the rules of the senate, which was done in 2013, was terrible for the senate. when we came to a majority a year and a half later we discussed about whether or not to restore the old system. we decided not to do it because the custom, although it was possible to filibuster judges, the custom was not to do it. the senate restrained itself and gave every supreme court nominee and up or down vote down to 2000. thisrecent invention of level of controversy we decided was best left alone by just leaving us where we were. >> do you believe harry reid
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made the right decision? >> no, i don't think he should have broken the rules. that is the precedent. that is the precedent they set on what we call the executive calendar. the supreme court is part of the executive calendar. >> are you comfortable in 10 years we may not have a filibuster anymore. we may continue down this slippery slope? >> i don't think the legislative filibuster is in danger. it is a long-standing tradition of the senate. all really begun by the current democratic leader. >> why should senator mcconnell work with you guys on this? when you changed the rules first, when you decided to do this. setange that you yourself this week and two months ago that you regret was a mistake? >> i don't regret not changing it for the supreme court. let me read you a quotes from mitch mcconnell. he said i think we can stipulate
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them. my friends stipulated from time to time over the years when they were in the minority that in the senate it takes 60 votes on controversial matters. oft has been the tradition the senate for a long time, this is nothing new. >> i go back to this because now we are going down this slippery slope and everybody has hypocrisy on their side but points the finger. you guys are hand in hand sliding down the slope. in 10 years, do you think the filibuster will still be alive? yes, that is one of the few things i agree with. i don't think there is any thirst to change the legislative rules, 60 votes for that. most democrats in both republicans -- and most republican served in the majority and minority to know what it means. gorsuchpened was when refuse to answer one of the most rudimentary questions in the hearings, after there were many
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doubts begin with, he wouldn't even answer whether he supported brown or judge roberts. there was a seismic change in my caucus and it was highly unlikely he will get that. senate is some of west a floor debate between the majority and minority leaders on the confirmation vote for judge neil gorsuch. this exchanges 20 minutes. retirement -- build a nest egg for retirement. now, mr. president, on another matter, since judge neil gorsuch was nominated to the supreme court, senate democrats have searched high and they've searched low for a reason to oppose him. they looked at his background, and they found a columbia alum, a harvard law graduate and an oxford scholar. they looked at his reputation and found an impartial and fair judge, and eloquent writer and humble and even tempered man.


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