Ocasio-Cortez Says That The Filibuster Is Not Needed Because The Senate ‘Already Amplifies Minority Power’


Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued Sunday that the Senate does need the filibuster because it “already amplifies minority power.”

Ocasio-Cortez joined host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss the possibility that Senate Democrats could do away with the filibuster altogether. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Accuses Biden Of ‘Playing Patty-Cake’ With Republicans While They Are ‘Setting The Planet On Fire’)


Todd began by noting that Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema had said several times that she would not support getting rid of the filibuster and had warned that legislation pushed through reconciliation could result in Republicans undoing it as soon as they regained power.

“Is that good enough defense to you for the filibuster?” Todd asked.

“No, I mean, it is essentially an argument of saying well, why do anything at all in case something in our future may change it,” Ocasio-Cortez replied, arguing that Republicans had tried to undo Democratic policies in the past and had failed because they were popular, and stating that “once they are enacted, they are very politically difficult to undo.”

“So I do not believe in the defeatism of saying ‘we will lose in the future and this will automatically mean that anything we do now is going to be reversed so we might as well not do anything now,'” she continued.

Ocasio-Cortez concluded by arguing that the 60-vote threshold was arbitrary, claiming that because Democratic senators represented more people based on popular vote, even having 50 Republicans in the Senate was amplifying the power of the minority.

“Okay, why 60 votes? Why not stop at 70 votes? Why not need 80 votes to pass any legislation?” she asked. “Why defend a 60-vote filibuster when the Senate already amplifies minority power so that the 50 Democratic senators already represent millions and millions and millions more Americans than 50 Republican senators. And so I would argue that 50 Republican senators is already a built in kind of filibuster-esque firewall.”

What Ocasio-Cortez did not mention was the fact that the Senate was intentionally designed to act as a firewall against a pure democracy and mob rule — or, as James Madison put it, the “tyranny of the majority.”