Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) led a bipartisan group of 61 Senators in writing to Senate leadership, urging them to preserve the 60 vote threshold for legislation.
"This letter demonstrates that a majority of the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, can come together to protect an important tradition of the Senate that recognizes the rights of the minority and makes bipartisan legislation more likely,” said Senator Collins. “After the contentious and polarized debate of the past few weeks, I am hopeful that this letter indicates a new determination by a bipartisan group of more than 60 Senators to move forward to solve the pressing problems facing our nation."
"Democrats want the Senate to work, and we are willing to partner with our colleagues across the aisle if we can get things done for the American people,” said Senator Coons. “We have a long way to go to heal the wounds between our two parties, but this letter is a small first step towards that important goal."
Senators Collins and Coons’ letter was signed by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Luther Strange (R-AL), Richard Burr (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Thune (R-SD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Todd Young (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Read the signed letter HERE. The full text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader Democratic Leader
United States Senate United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer:
We are writing to urge you to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions as they pertain to the right of Members to engage in extended debate on legislation before the United States Senate. Senators have expressed a variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations. Regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we are united in our determination to preserve the ability of Members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the Senate floor.
We are mindful of the unique role the Senate plays in the legislative process, and we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that this great American institution continues to serve as the world’s greatest deliberative body. Therefore, we are asking you to join us in opposing any effort to curtail the existing rights and prerogatives of Senators to engage in full, robust, and extended debate as we consider legislation before this body in the future.