Senator Carper’s Statement on Vote to Change Senate Rules
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released following statement regarding the vote to change the Senate’s rules:
“I approached today’s vote with a very heavy heart, but with one overriding goal: I want this place to work. Whether Democrats are in the majority or the Republicans, or whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican; I just want this place to work. We’ve got to figure out how to get things done. I was hopeful this day would never come, that our Republican friends would find a way to work with us – to communicate and compromise. But it has become abundantly clear that the Senate isn’t working. As Leader Reid pointed out, our job as Senators as dictated by the Constitution is to ‘advise and consent,’ not ‘deny and obstruct’. Filibusters should be used under extraordinary circumstances. Instead, they’ve become ordinary and commonplace, resulting in a Senate that no longer works the way it should.
“Democrats and Republicans should agree that our executive branch of government is riddled with holes. We have too many acting secretaries, too many acting deputy secretaries, and too many judgeships that are vacant. We have failed to confirm far too many positions in leadership that need to be filled and not because the nominees weren’t qualified but because some would rather score political points. This is not the right way to run our government or any kind of government. People say ‘well, this will really make matters bad,’ but, honestly, it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse. As it is, we’re not getting stuff done, even though we really need to.
“After thinking long and hard about the ramifications of such a rule change, I’ve come to the conclusion that we must fix this broken system. We need to demonstrate that we can govern, be fiscally responsible, and provide certainty and predictability in all kinds of areas. There’s too much uncertainty for families and businesses and that’s bad for our country. That’s why we need to reform the rules so the Senate can work once again. Obstruction for the sake of obstruction cannot be an option from either party any longer. Maybe this will be the wake-up call that we need to behave more like adults and do what the people want us to do, which is to cooperate, collaborate, and get things done.”