Durbin floats idea of a ‘nuclear option’ to force a ‘talking filibuster’ on Senate Republicans

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Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has reportedly been floating the idea of a “nuclear option” in the tug-of-war currently raging in the U.S. Senate over a controversial “voting rights” bill.

According to CNN reporter Manu Raju, Durbin is looking at an option that would force Senators to use a “talking filibuster,” which means that Senators would have to physically stand there speaking, instead of the current rules, under which a Senator simply announces their intention to mount a filibuster without having to actually stand at the podium talking.

Raju took to Twitter to report the issue and point out the glaring issue with any attempt by Democrats to use this particular “nuclear option:”

However, as Raju pointed out in his original tweet – the Senate Democrats don’t actually have the 50 votes needed to change the rules (and if they did, they wouldn’t need to change them anyway), which was widely mocked as a totally empty, implausible threat:

Others pointed out that the Democratic “control” of the Senate is so flimsy and threadbare that the Republicans would be able to hold them off with much greater ease, and much-reduced effort, compared to what Democrats would need to do to take advantage of any weakening of Republican resolve:

In fairness to Raju and Durbin, Raju noted that Durbin did not actually promise that this was the intended course of action, and it was simply one idea being tossed around in preparation for a Democratic strategy meeting on Tuesday night, with no final verdict or consensus on what approach to take.

Regardless, Democratic hopes for the bill are looking dim, especially since the filibuster is supported by some of their own, such as Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Combined with complete Republican unity against the bill, as well as changes in the filibuster and voting rules, not even “nuclear” options seem to have any teeth.

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