Last night on NPR’s All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel asked Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) about the prospects of a Republican filibuster of the Senate’s version of the economic recovery package. Grassley responded that Republicans would indeed filibuster the package, requiring the bill to garner a 60-vote majority for passage:
SIEGEL: By the way, Senator, we always just assume that anything in the Senate requires 60 votes because there will be a filibuster threat. Is that right? Does this bill need 60 votes to pass?
SIEGAL: It does?
Grassley’s promise of a filibuster is surprising given the fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly said that Republicans “would not filibuster against the stimulus package.” He remarked earlier this month, “I don’t think this measure’s going to have any problem getting over 60 votes.”
But now, as Grassley indicated last night, McConnell may not be able to keep his word as conservative opposition to the package grows.
Despite the fact that the Senate version of the recovery package is already loaded up with a significant number of provisions sought by conservative Republicans and the pro-business lobby, a number of senators are working with Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to coordinate opposition to the package, and as CNS News reports today, “a filibuster is a possible part of that plan“:
“I think its going to take 60 votes to pass the bill,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told CNSNews.com, indicating the likelihood of a filibuster.
“Whatever we can do, whether offering amendments, whether voting against the bill because it could not be amended, or whatever parliamentary possibilities are in front of us we will explore because this isn’t about playing the game,” Sen. Kyl told CNSNews.com when asked whether he would filibuster the bill or encourage his colleagues to do so. [...]
“I would be a part of it,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said when CNSNews.com asked him if he personally would participate in a filibuster.