Axios reporter highlights Democrats' hypocrisy on eliminating the filibuster

23November 2021

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan highlighted the hypocrisy of congressional Democrats who are still eager to eliminate the filibuster.

On Tuesday, the Axios reporter appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss his interview with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and her comments on the filibuster.

CBS NEWS REPORTER PLEADS WITH BIDEN AT WHITE HOUSE: ‘WHEN WILL YOU TAKE OUR QUESTIONS?’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens as acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on July 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. The hearing is on "The Trump Administration's Child Separation Policy." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 18: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listens as acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on July 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. The hearing is on “The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy.” (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

During the interview, Tlaib insisted that the filibuster, a Senate procedure to delay or prevent voting on a bill, was a racist tool used for oppressive purposes. Swan, however, pressed Tlaib on the fact that Democrats used the filibuster numerous times during the Trump administration. He also questioned what Senate Democrats would have done without the filibuster during that time.

“It would have been unfortunate, of course,” Tlaib admitted.

Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Swan elaborated on his questions, revealing his research revealed even more hypocrisy on the part of Senate Democrats.

“In 2017, after Donald Trump took office, more than half of Senate Democrats including now Vice President Kamala Harris signed a letter and sent it to Senate leaders urging them to preserve the filibuster. The question that I have, some of the same Democrats talk about the racist history of filibuster being used to block civil rights. That, of course, was true, but it was also true in 2017. Is this an argument about political convenience or is it an argument about morality and ethics?” Swan said.

Axios' @jonathanvswan  calls out Democrats on their filibuster hypocrisy: "Is this an argument about political convenience, or is it an argument about morality and ethics?"

Axios’ @jonathanvswan  calls out Democrats on their filibuster hypocrisy: “Is this an argument about political convenience, or is it an argument about morality and ethics?”
(https://twitter.com/AmericaRising/status/1463138002700541959)

Swan also referenced Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s, D-Ariz., argument for supporting the filibuster in the likelihood of Republicans retaking power in Congress.

“I’m not saying it’s one or the other, because I do think there’s principled people in this fight. I remember Kyrsten Sinema in the Senate saying ‘guys, we might want to think about this because Republicans could take back power in Washington and then let’s think about all the things we have used to stop during the Trump years,’” Swan said.

He explained “This could come back to bite Democrats if they do actually go down this path.”

US Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN)(2R), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (L), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (R) hold a press conference, to address remarks made by US President Donald Trump earlier in the day, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on July 15, 2019. - President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying if they're not happy in the United States "they can leave."

US Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN)(2R), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (L), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (R) hold a press conference, to address remarks made by US President Donald Trump earlier in the day, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on July 15, 2019. – President Donald Trump stepped up his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying if they’re not happy in the United States “they can leave.”
(Getty Images)

Fellow Democrat “Squad” members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have also supported abolishing the filibuster and criticized Sinema for refusing to eliminate it. While Democrats control D.C., Senate Republicans have utilized the filibuster to block several pieces of legislation from Democrats, including, “For the People Act,” an election bill intended to impose federal standards on state voting laws.

With fellow moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., also committed to retaining the filibuster, it remains unlikely for Democrats to eliminate the filibuster at this time.

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Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien also contributed to this report.

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