The filibuster is one of the few lifelines left for Democrats to potentially halt Donald Trump’s agenda.
Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Austin, Texas, wants to get rid of it.
“They’ve got that 60 vote margin over there that hinders a lot of things,” Williams said. “He hasn’t told me this, but I think President-elect Trump will address that. You know, we’ve got a majority, let’s use the majority.”
The filibuster is a legislative tactic used by the minority in the U.S. Senate to prevent bills from coming up for a vote. To overrule a filibuster, three-fifths of the Senate must agree on the proposed bill.
During President Barack Obama’s administration, Republican senators like John Cornyn of Texas warned against Democrats repealing the filibuster, saying in 2013 that “majorities are fleeting.”
Now that Republicans will control both Congress and the White House, Williams is joining a growing chorus of conservative voices in the House of Representatives calling for the filibuster to end.
“The 60-vote rule is not in the Constitution. It was a gentleman’s agreement made back in 1917,” Williams said. “We’ve got to make sure the Senate is ready to receive what we send them.”
But Williams’ Republican colleagues in the Senate are not as eager to get rid of the stalling tactic for minority parties.
Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah have all announced their opposition to ending the filibuster, even though it could hamper Republican efforts to overturn legislation passed by Democrats during the Obama administration.
“I’m one of the biggest advocates for the filibuster,” Hatch said to the Huffington Post. “It’s the only way to protect the minority, and we’ve been in the minority a lot more than we’ve been in the majority. It’s just a great, great protection for the minority.”
In order for the filibuster to be overturned, 51 senators must agree via the “nuclear option.” That is unlikely without unified Republican agreement in the Senate.