Murkowski Urges Consensus Building Over Partisan Rule Changes

Warns of Consequences of Gutting the Legislative Filibuster

As partisan attempts to weaken or eliminate the legislative filibuster reach a fever pitch this week, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke about the importance of protecting minority rights in the Senate, and to the consequences of weakening the legislative filibuster to a 50-vote, majority-serving threshold. 

floor speech on the filibuster

Click here for video of Senator Murkowski’s floor statement on the legislative filibuster. 


  • “I understand what it takes to work across the aisle to bring good policy into law. And one of the things I can tell you from firsthand experience is that it’s hard. It is hard work to bring people together, particularly on some of these challenging and difficult issues that we have. When the problems are hard, that means usually the solutions are equally hard. But that’s our job as legislators, to bring sides together to find that common ground.”
  • “I will vote against any motion to weaken the filibuster or create carveouts within it.” 
  • “I believe that weakening the current 60-vote threshold would be a major mistake, a damaging mistake, especially in light of the already-deep divisions that we have within our country today.”
  • “Gutting the legislative filibuster is not going to do anything to bring both sides together. It will not help bring the parties together. It will unfortunately just serve to push them further apart, to split us further apart.”
  • “Back in 2017, I signed a letter along with 60 other members of this chamber. There were 28 Republicans, 32 Democrats, one Independent, and we came together as a pretty representative group of lawmakers and urged the Republican and Democratic leaders to preserve the 60-vote threshold for legislation.”
  • “As Republicans in the majority we were urged mightily by former President Trump to get rid of the filibuster. I was one that said, ‘No, we should not do that.’ And that’s why my advice to the majority today is to be careful. Because this may help advance the immediate legislative agenda. This could help you advance your immediate agenda, but the long-term effects might look a lot different.”
  • “When you don’t have legislation that is enduring, when you move legislation that is only partisan, what happens when tables are turned? The new majority spends all of its time trying to undo what the old majority got passed on a wholly partisan basis.”
  • “Who is going to be investing in policies if they think that what just passed into law will just be undone in the next Congress? We owe it to our constituents. We owe it to the country, to give them some certainty with policy, and that comes about when you’re working to gain consensus.”
  • “We have got to be focused on finding more ways to work together, and we’ve got good examples. We’ve got an energy bill that we advanced in 2020—a good bill that we had been working on for a long time that was a very bipartisan product. We have our bipartisan infrastructure bill, the CARES Act, and so many other measures that have shown us that this is absolutely possible.”
  • “The 60-vote threshold for legislation requires consensus to be part of our legislative strategy. Changing it to 50 votes, to serve the narrowest possible majority, will lose that essential benefit and have lasting consequences for the Senate and for the people we serve.”    
  • “We can do better than this. We just have to work. Neither side will get everything it wants out of that, but I absolutely believe our country will be better served if we have a bipartisan path, working together.”