Cotton uses Schumer’s own words in defense of the filibuster on Senate floor

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Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican, turned Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., own words against him in a speech defending the filibuster.

Cotton took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to remind Schumer of how he had previously defended the filibuster. 

The Arkansas Republican referenced Schumer’s previous remarks denouncing the “nuclear option” and continued in a speech written entirely from the top Senate Democrat’s own remarks.

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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Patrick Semansky/Getty Images)

“The nuclear option is being pushed largely by the radioactive rhetoric of a small band of radicals,” Cotton said, “who hold in their hands the political fortunes of the president.”

“Constitutional scholars will tell us that the reason we have these rules in the Senate — unlimited debate, two-thirds to change the rules, the idea that 60 have to close off debate — is debate in the spirit and role of the Constitution,” the Republican continued. “That is what the Constitution is all about. We all know it.”

Cotton’s speech comes as Schumer and the majority of the Senate Democrats eye striking the filibuster to force through their highly-partisan election reform bills.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters after a Democratic policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters after a Democratic policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Senate Democrats face a massive roadblock in the form of one of their own: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has repeatedly stated that he is not behind changing the chamber’s rules without both party’s approval.

It is unlikely Manchin will change his stance on the filibuster, especially as he stands with several of his fellow Democrats against eliminating the filibuster.

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