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U.S. Senator Tom Cotton tore into Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the topic of the filibuster, expertly using the Democrat’s own words against him in a fiery speech.
The Arkansas Republican schooled his Democrat colleagues on “what the Constitution is all about” as he responded to Schumer’s condemnation of the “nuclear option,” delivering a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday that highlighted the hypocrisy and was entirely made up of past comments made by the New York Democrat in defense of the filibuster.
“We are on the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis. The checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option, the checks and balances which say if you get 51 percent of the vote you do not get your way 100 percent of the time … That is what we call abuse of power. There is, unfortunately, a whiff of extremism in the air,” Cotton began, quoting Schumer’s words from a Senate speech delivered May 18, 2007.
“The nuclear option is being pushed largely by the radioactive rhetoric of a small band of radicals,” Cotton said, “who hold in their hands the political fortunes of the president.”
“Constitutional scholars will tell us that the reason we have these rules in the Senate — unlimited debate, two-thirds to change the rules, the idea that 60 have to close off debate — is debate in the spirit and role of the Constitution,” he continued. “That is what the Constitution is all about. We all know it.”
After torching Democrats with their own rhetoric, and unveiling a large poster of Schumer, Cotton concluded: “Every word in my speech today was originally spoken by our esteemed college: the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer.”
“My how times have changed,” he added.
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