Democrats defend flip-flopping on 2017 pledge to preserve filibuster

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Democrats doubled down Tuesday on changing the Senate filibuster, despite authoring a 2017 letter in support of the long-established 60-vote threshold for certain legislation.

In 2017, 61 senators penned a bipartisan letter to then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urging them to preserve the filibuster as a way to promote bipartisanship and maintain the Senate as the “world’s greatest deliberative body.”

Pressed Tuesday at a news conference on whether they were hypocrites for now urging a rollback of the filibuster, Democrats said much has changed in the nearly five years since that letter, citing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to stop the certification of President Biden’s electoral college win. 

“That letter was written before one of the largest efforts in the history of this country to disenfranchise voters,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Tuesday. “It wasn’t just an attack on Jan. 6. It was for a particular purpose to disenfranchise 80 million people. This Senate hardly is worth the name Senate if it’s unwilling to respond to something like that.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., center, joined from left by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Tom Udall,

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