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Senate Republicans Must 'Get to Work' on 30-Hour Debate and Filibuster Rule

Sen. Mitch McConnell (r) (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters )

During this very important legislative session, AFA Action (, the governmental affairs affiliate of the American Family Association, has been educating Americans about the 60-vote filibuster rule, which is preventing the passage of conservative policies and President Donald Trump's agenda.

"The Republican-controlled Senate is continuing to allow Democratic obstruction to block the governance of the Trump administration," said AFA Action President Tim Wildmon. "President Trump was put into office to carry out the agenda of Americans who elected him. Major components of this agenda include the appointment of constitutional conservative judges, passing pro-life legislation and defunding Planned Parenthood."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and 29 other Republicans, however, are allowing Democrats to kill this conservative agenda. While these Republicans have the legitimate power to end this Democratic obstruction, they sit idly by and watch democrats use and abuse Senate procedures to both kill legislation and sabotage the Senate nomination process, Wildmon added.

AFA Action sent an Action Alert today to AFA's one million-plus friends and supporters, telling them to urge their senators to "get to work" or call on McConnell to step down.

According to AFA Action, these Republicans are participating in the obstruction by taking extended vacations and blocking President Trump's ability to make judicial appointment during Senate recess.

In response, AFA Action is suggesting two demands conservatives can make on the Senate Republican majority.

Change the 30-Hour Debate Rule

Democrats are abusing Senate procedures to maintain a sustained attack against the confirmation of President Trump's appointments by routinely triggering a procedure requiring 30-hours of debate on Trump nominees.

According to Fox News, "President Trump has sent 455 nominees to the Senate for confirmation. But McConnell's Senate has confirmed only 182, leaving a staggering 273 nominees twisting in the wind, and 273 empty chairs waiting to be filled. By this time in Barack Obama's administration, 358 of his nominees—nearly twice as many as Trump's—had been approved and were at their desks."

McConnell called this obstruction "breathtaking," but is doing nothing to stop it when it is within Republicans' power to do so.

AFA Action says McConnell must consider Sen. Ron Johnson's, R-Wisconsin, solution—the precedent established by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, in 2013 to end the 30-hour debate rule by a simple majority vote. The Republican Senate majority would then have within its reach the legitimate use of power to put an end to Democratic obstruction. Yet these Republicans have refused to lift a finger to end this madness.

End the Democratic Filibuster

The U.S. Senate has a 52 Republican majority that could pass a conservative agenda if they ended the Democratic filibuster, but 30 of these Republican senators have declared their support of the filibuster. Democrats are killing conservative legislation through the filibuster, which takes 60 votes to end.

Because 30 of the 52 Republican senators refuse to end the filibuster, getting the 60 required votes to end the filibuster is impossible. As U.S. Representative Trent Franks, R-Arizona told the AFA blog "The Stand," "It is time for America to abolish the 60-vote Senate rule" to end the filibuster and vote by simple majority.

Democrats and Republicans alike have changed Senate precedent to advance legislation to a vote by a majority vote. Reid did this to approve President Obama's federal appointments, and Republicans changed Senate precedent to approve Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Democrats oppose the conservative agenda America elected President Trump to advance," said AFA Action Vice President Rob Chambers. "This agenda includes repealing Obamacare, funding the border wall, defunding sanctuary cities, passing Kate's Law, defunding Planned Parenthood and applying the Hyde Amendment to ensure federal tax dollars do not fund abortion. What the GOP leadership refuses to admit is that they have the votes to set aside the 60-vote rule in favor of a simple majority vote. The Senate Republican majority has the potential to live up to the GOP pro-life platform, but 30 Senate Republicans insist on choosing rules and sacrificing the opportunity to save unborn lives. This Republican hypocrisy and Democratic obstruction must end now."

Chambers also recently wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller, detailing how voters are fed up—fed up that they chose a presidential candidate who constituted an utter repudiation of the Washington political establishment, but realizing that too many candidates chant the conservative mantra during campaigns, only to embrace the agenda of the swamp once they get to Washington. Read the entire Daily Caller editorial here.

For more information on AFA Action, visit or follow AFA Action on Facebook or Twitter @AFAAction.

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