Washington: Sen. Mitt Romney last week warned Democrats against changing filibuster rules in the upper chamber, pointing to the prospect of Republicans seizing control of Congress in 2022 and former President Donald Trump potentially retaking the White House in 2024.
The Utah Republican wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post and took part in opinion columnist James Hohmann’s “Please, Go On” podcast to relay his message, pointing out that it would be foolhardy to alter the way in which the US Senate operates.
Romney referenced the Democratic push for voting-rights legislation that has attracted near-universal opposition from Republicans who contend that the federal measures are tantamount to intruding into state election affairs.
Due to the 60-vote threshold needed to advance most pieces of legislation, Republicans can easily filibuster legislation not to their liking – which they have consistently done with the pair of voting-rights bills.
“Note that in our federal government, empowerment of the minority is established in just one institution: the Senate,” he wrote. “The majority decides in the House; the majority decides in the Supreme Court; and the president is a majority of one. Only in the Senate does the minority restrain the power of the majority.”
“That a minority should be afforded such political power is a critical element of the institution. For a law to pass in the Senate, it must appeal to senators in both parties. The Senate’s minority empowerment has meant that our nation’s policies inevitably tack toward the center,” he added.
Romney, who has long had an acrimonious relationship with Trump, brought up the prospect that the former president could win the presidency again – and used a cautionary tale of the GOP controlling Congress without the filibuster in place.
“Have Democrats thought through what it would mean for them for Trump to be entirely unrestrained, with the Democratic minority having no power whatsoever?” he asked in the op-ed.