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Nevada Dem Senator Defends Filibuster, Immediately Backtracks after Interview Published

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Senator Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) said she would be open to eliminating the filibuster after publication of a Washington Post interview in which she argued to modify, but not scrap, the practice.

“Right now, our democracy is under attack and we must do everything we can to protect voting rights,” Rosen said in a statement. “If eliminating the filibuster is what it takes to get it done, then we must protect our democracy at all costs.”

Democrats are currently attempting to pass voting legislation that would federalize control of various election procedures. With the Senate tied 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote, Democrats and progressives have argued to eliminate the filibuster in order to push through legislation via a simple majority.

Rosen defended the filibuster in an interview with the Post published shortly before noon on Wednesday. However, Rosen said she favored implementing the talking filibuster, in which senators would be forced to speak on the floor in order to prevent a bill’s passage.

Rosen was asked by the Post whether her opposition to eliminating the filibuster stems from support for abortion rights. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL have stayed out of the filibuster debate, with some abortion advocates worried that eliminating the filibuster could remove an obstacle for legislation that would limit abortions.

“I will never back down from a woman’s right to choose; I think it’s fundamentally important,” Rosen said. “We have to look at not just when you’re in the majority, but what does it do when you’re in the minority? You have to be mindful of that.”

Rosen said Democrats should be “careful what you wish for” regarding the filibuster.

Rosen is one of a few Senate Democrats to publicly oppose eliminating the filibuster entirely, along with Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana.

Manchin flirted briefly with a return to the talking filibuster in March and the idea earned the support of President Joe Biden around the same time, but the West Virginia Democrat ultimately came out against changing the procedure at all after critics on both sides of the aisle pointed out that a recalcitrant minority could stall Biden’s entire agenda through ceaseless talking filibusters.

Progressives have focused ire in particular on Manchin, who has been vocal in his support of the filibuster.

“Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy, and to stop our work for the people,” Representative Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) said on CNN on Monday.

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