Sen. Cory Booker: Tradition of the Senate is to “slow things down”

Cory BookerWe have seen this body, in the very short period of time I have been here, begin to undermine not just things that happened under the Obama administration but to undermine traditions that go back decades, if not more than a century.

The longest filibuster on this floor … It was actually almost exactly 60 years ago. That was the 1957 Civil Rights Act. It was Strom Thurmond who gave this long filibuster, trying to block something that–yes, indeed–was going to have societal impacts on this country–the 1957 Civil Rights Act.This is one illustration of how, when monumental pieces of legislation come to this floor, the history of this body and the traditions of this body are to slow things down, to have a process, to have rules–especially for things that are so monumental.

Let me go with another record that I mentioned earlier tonight, but it shows, again, that when monumental pieces of legislation are coming, this is a body that looks closely, takes its time, is deliberative, and has a time-honored process.

The longest consecutive session in the Senate history of debate and of deliberation–open and public, not just for the Nation to see but for the world to see–was a debate during the First World War about whether to arm merchant ships.It brought about tremendous consternation, tremendous debate, as we did the lead up to the First World War.

—Sen. Cory Booker (D–NJ)

Healthcare Legislation,  Senate Floor, June 19, 2017

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