Sen. Michael Bennet speaks as a presidential candidate during The Iowa Democratic Party Liberty & Justice Celebration on Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet supports eliminating the Senate filibuster, his office confirmed Wednesday.
Bennet, a Democrat and Colorado’s senior senator, had repeatedly criticized Republican “abuse” of the filibuster and signaled an openness to reforming it in recent months, but his remarks had not been widely interpreted as explicitly calling for the filibuster’s elimination. As of Dec. 14, a Washington Post analysis tracking Democratic senators’ positions on the filibuster characterized Bennet as one of 12 who were merely “open” to reforms, in contrast to 36 who had called for changing or eliminating it, and two who remained opposed to any changes.
A spokesperson for Bennet, however, on Wednesday provided Newsline with the most direct confirmation yet that he supports eliminating the upper chamber’s 60-vote threshold, which currently applies to most legislation.
The confirmation followed an announcement earlier Wednesday by Bennet’s fellow Colorado Democrat, first-year Sen. John Hickenlooper, that he would support “changes” to the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
Bennet’s office pointed to recent comments in which Bennet discussed a variety of potential changes to Senate rules relating to the filibuster. His most extensive comments to date on the issue came in a September interview with E.W. Scripps.
“I want the Senate to function the way the Founders designed it to function,” Bennet said at the time. “It is not functioning that way as a result of the abuse of the filibuster, where everybody sits in their office while (Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell filibusters by remote control.”
“At the end of the day,” he added, “after the minority has the right to have (a) debate, has the right to offer amendments … 51 senators ought to be able to move this country forward.”
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 8:35 p.m., Dec. 15, 2021, to clarify Bennet’s previous remarks on the filibuster and how they were widely interpreted.
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