House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined Thursday to throw her support behind abolishing the filibuster despite growing movement from the progressive wing of her caucus to demand an end to the Senate tradition.
“That’s a debate for the Senate,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said in declining to wade into the filibuster fray.
Pressed by Fox News’ Chad Pergram during a news conference on her filibuster stance, Pelosi said: “I don’t get involved in any discussion on Senate rules, you know that, and I don’t welcome any discussion from them on House rules.”
Pelosi said Senate rules are outside her jurisdiction but blamed the Senate GOP leader for blocking the House’s priorities.
“Mitch McConnell is still the problem,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s remarks came shortly after freshman progressive Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., led a news conference outside the Capitol demanding the Senate abolish the filibuster so Democrats could deliver major legislation, like voting rights, D.C. statehood, police reform and raising the minimum wage to $15.
Bush penned a letter with nearly 100 House Democrats to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to end the 60-vote tradition and to pass legislation with just a simple majority.
“We demand an urgent end to the racial, racist Senate procedural — this procedural tool,” Bush said Thursday. “This tool that blocks us from what we need, what we have to have to survive and to thrive. Blocking us from getting on with the business of protecting the communities that we were elected to serve.”
Pelosi’s No. 2 in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, has also spoken up about abolishing the filibuster. During a news conference Wednesday in support of D.C. statehood, the Maryland Democrat said the Senate tradition was outdated and “un-American.”
“I hope that the filibuster is jettisoned,” Hoyer said Wednesday. “It is not a democratic principle that a minority can … stop the majority.”
The biggest challenge for abolishing the filibuster is the math. The Senate is split evenly 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote for Democrats. But not all 50 members of the Democratic caucus are on board with killing the filibuster, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whose vote would be required if Democrats wanted to upend the Senate tradition.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.