To find out how 2020 Democratic candidates would use their presidential powers to address climate change, we sent six key questions to every campaign. This post includes seven candidates’ answers to the second question. You can find answers to the other five questions on the landing page.
If Democrats win a narrow majority in the Senate, will you advocate for reforming or scrapping the filibuster?
Joe Biden: [I do] not support ending the filibuster.
Elizabeth Warren: As I’ve said before, if Republicans continue to [use] the same playbook they had under President Obama and try to block progress, we should get rid of the filibuster.
Bernie Sanders: As was the case with workers’ rights, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement and the environmental movement, the only way transformational change happens is when millions of people stand up and demand it.
Before we even get to the issue of the filibuster, we need 50 senators who are prepared to do what we, as a nation, have a moral obligation to accomplish - and that is to pass Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and other major reforms we need.
Once we have — and [I] believe it will be sooner than later — a Democratic majority that is prepared to take on the greed and the corruption of the fossil fuel industry and vote for these major reforms in the House and the Senate, we will pass them. That means enacting real filibuster reform, including the return to requiring a talking filibuster. It is not right that one senator can grind the entire legislative process to a halt.
Further, the budget reconciliation process, with 50 votes, has been used time and time again to pass major pieces of legislation and that under our Constitution and the rules of the Senate, it is the vice president who determines what is and is not permissible under budget reconciliation. While a president does not have the power to abolish the filibuster, a vice president in [my] administration will determine that a Green New Deal can pass through the Senate under reconciliation and is not in violation of the rules.
Pete Buttigieg: Yes. With the filibuster in place, any meaningful action to combat climate change will be even further out of reach.
Tom Steyer: I will certainly advocate for scrapping the filibuster. This legislative roadblock is preventing us from fixing an inadequate healthcare system, boosting lagging wages, controlling student debt, and ending gun violence. The filibuster only serves to maintain the status-quo and uphold a broken political system.
Amy Klobuchar: [I] would be willing to advocate for getting rid of the legislative filibuster if legislation is blocked. None of this will matter if Democrats don’t retake the majority Senate and [I am] focused on that.
Mike Bloomberg: The filibuster has been overused and misused, and it is probably time to get rid of it.