WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed reports that Democrats plan to do away with the Byrd Rule, a longstanding provision that protects the rights of the minority party in the Senate, in order to pass legislation that cannot garner bipartisan support. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.
“If the reports can be believed, our Democratic colleagues are preparing to abuse the budget reconciliation process to ram President Biden’s coronavirus relief proposal through the Senate.”
“With the filibuster – legislative filibuster – still intact, our Democratic colleagues are no doubt considering a plan to shove President Biden’s massive coronavirus relief bill through the Senate using reconciliation, and that plan involves ignoring many adverse rulings from the Parliamentarian.”
“In 2001, Senator Byrd said reconciliation was never, never, never intended to be used as a shield for controversial legislation by depriving Senators of their rights and their duty to debate and amend, but that is precisely what our Democratic colleagues are reported to be considering now; to overrule the advice of a nonpartisan adviser to the Senate so they can deprive Senators of their duty, and ability, to debate and amend legislation. I urge our colleagues not to go down this road.”
“Chipping away at the rights of the minority may help you now, but you’re sure to regret that someday, just as Democrats now regret the day Harry Reid cleared an easy path for hundreds of conservative federal judges.”
“Our Democratic colleagues have a duty, I believe, as members of this body, to respect its rules and respect the Senate as an institution.”
“The Senate should not replace the Byrd rule with Harry’s rule.”