Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Calls for “Nuclear Option” to End the Filibuster

Sep 17, 2015
Press Release
Senate’s Refusal to Debate Iran Deal “National Embarrassment”

Time to Play Hardball…“Dysfunction is at All-Time High”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL, told a national CSPAN radio audience today that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to use his constitutional authority to end the filibuster and allow the Senate to operate by a simple majority vote.

Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Senate’s refusal to vote on the Iran nuclear deal was “a national embarrassment.” In an interview with CSPAN host Steve Scully,  Buchanan blamed partisan obstructionists who used the filibuster to require a 60-vote margin to bring the nuclear deal up for debate.

“I think this is the tipping point,” Buchanan said, noting that he sent Senator McConnell a letter this week urging him to use his authority to kill the filibuster once and for all – a position referred to as “the nuclear option” because it overturns Senate tradition.  “I’d like to see the Senate Majority Leader get rid of the filibuster completely,” Buchanan said. “The dysfunction in Washington has people outraged. It might have made sense in the past but it doesn’t make sense today.”

Buchanan delivered a letter to Senator McConnell this week asking him to use his power as Senate Leader to bypass a partisan filibuster and bring the Iran nuclear arms deal to the Senate floor for debate. The U.S. House rejected the deal last week, but Senate obstructionists blocked the agreement from even coming up for debate, let alone a vote.

“The Senate’s refusal to debate or vote on the most important nuclear arms agreement in decades is appalling and a national embarrassment,” Buchanan said in his letter. “National security is too important to be held hostage by partisan obstructionists who won’t even allow a debate on the issue. It’s time to play hardball and break the filibuster – too much is at stake.”

Buchanan noted that Senator Harry Reid changed the rules and bypassed the filibuster when he was Majority Leader in 2013 over judicial appointments, a matter of far less importance than the Iran nuclear agreement.

Audio of the interview here.