Q: The Democratic Party thought it could take over the Senate this year, and there’s still a chance that will happen if you get both seats in Georgia. But to pass major legislation, one would have to either gain Republican support or kill the filibuster. You have long opposed the elimination of filibuster. Why is that?
A: I can assure you that I will not vote to end filibuster because it will break the Senate. We have done enough damage to the Senate with the nuclear option on the judges. We make life appointments by simple majority. The minority should have a say – that is the whole purpose of the Senate. If you completely remove filibustering laws, you will not have the Senate. You are a glorified house. And I won’t do that.
Q: So there is no problem where you would agree to end the filibuster? Let’s say there’s a badly needed new coronavirus stimulus package and Republicans won’t strike a deal.
A: No. If we can’t come together to help America, God help us. If you have to blow up the Senate to do the right thing, then we have the wrong people in the Senate, or we have the people who do not talk to each other. You know, I always said this: Chuck Schumer, with his personality, he will speak to anyone and everyone. You can work with Chuck. Chuck will try everything he can to try and engage with Mitch again.
Q: Are there other issues where you could draw a line in the sand and stand up to other members of your party?
A: I did this. I was that vote for Brett Kavanaugh. I thought there must be evidence, and I never saw it. The country was in a binge eating. And there was no Democrat who was going to resist it. I said, ‘I’m not going to ruin a person’s life because there’s no proof.’
And wouldn’t it be so fitting for him to vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act? God, oh my God. Redemption! Is there any redemption here? He and I had a long conversation, and I basically said, ‘I beg you and your inner conscience whenever this comes to you I want you to think of 800,000 Western Virginians who couldn’t obtain insurance previously because of a pre-existing condition. I want you to think of 160,000 Western Virginians who were so poor they had nothing.