OPEN LETTER ABOUT SENATOR’S 2017 PRAISE OF FILIBUSTER!!! PLUS LET ME ANSWER YOUR OBJECTIONS TO THE PRO-LIFE VIEW! Senator Brian Schatz, Hawaii

April 4, 2021

Office of Senator Brian Schatz, Hawaii
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Schatz,

I noticed that you signed a 2017 letter strongly supporting the filibuster. 
Why are you thinking about abandoning that view now?

Does your change of view have anything to do with Biden now being in office?


Democrats distance themselves from previous pro-filibuster stance, citing GOP obstruction

More than half of current Senate Democrats and VP Harris signed 2017 letter supporting filibuster when GOP was in control

Tyler Olson

By Tyler Olson | Fox News

As progressives push hard for Democrats to eliminate the legislative filibuster after gaining control of the Senate, House and the presidency, many Democratic senators are distancing themselves from a letter they signed in 2017 backing the procedure.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Chris Coons, D-Del., led a letter in 2017 that asked Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to preserve the legislative filibuster. As it’s existed for decades, the filibuster requires 60 votes in order to end debate on a bill and proceed to a final vote.

“We are writing to urge you to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions” on the filibuster, the letter said.

Besides Collins and Coons, 59 other senators joined on the letter. Of that group, 27 Democratic signatories still hold federal elected office. Twenty-six still hold their Senate seats, and Vice President Harris assumed her new job on Jan. 20, vacating her former California Senate seat.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from legal experts on the final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Coons has softened his support for the legislative filibuster in recent years after leading an effort to protect it in 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., speaks as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from legal experts on the final day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Coons has softened his support for the legislative filibuster in recent years after leading an effort to protect it in 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

But now, the momentum among Senate Democrats is for either full abolition of the filibuster or significantly weakening it. President Biden endorsed the latter idea Tuesday, announcing his support for a “talking filibuster.”

KAMALA HARRIS SUPPORTS CHANGE TO FILIBUSTER IN SENATE TO LIMIT MINORITY PARTY POWER

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden told ABC. “You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking.”

The legislative filibuster has been a 60-vote threshold for what is called a “cloture vote” — or a vote to end debate on a bill — meaning that any 41 senators could prevent a bill from getting to a final vote. If there are not 60 votes, the bill cannot proceed.

The “talking filibuster” — as it was most recently seriously articulated by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in 2012 — would allow 41 senators to prevent a final vote by talking incessantly, around-the-clock, on the Senate floor. But once those senators stop talking, the threshold for a cloture vote is lowered to 51.

Harris’ office confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that she is now aligned with Biden on the filibuster issue. She’d previously taken an even more hostile position to the filibuster, saying she would fully “get rid” of it “to pass a Green New Deal” at a CNN town hall in 2019.

The legislative filibuster has been a 60-vote threshold for what is called a “cloture vote” — or a vote to end debate on a bill — meaning that any 41 senators could prevent a bill from getting to a final vote. If there are not 60 votes, the bill cannot proceed.

The “talking filibuster” — as it was most recently seriously articulated by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in 2012 — would allow 41 senators to prevent a final vote by talking incessantly, around-the-clock, on the Senate floor. But once those senators stop talking, the threshold for a cloture vote is lowered to 51.

Harris’ office confirmed to Fox News Wednesday that she is now aligned with Biden on the filibuster issue. She’d previously taken an even more hostile position to the filibuster, saying she would fully “get rid” of it “to pass a Green New Deal” at a CNN town hall in 2019.

Coons, who led the 2017 letter along with Collins, has also distanced himself from his previous stance.

Vice President Kamala Harris attends a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as President Pro Tempore of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Harris has changed her stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a letter in 2017 backing it. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris attends a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as President Pro Tempore of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Harris has changed her stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a letter in 2017 backing it. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP) (AP)

BIDEN SUPPORTS CHANGING SENATE FILIBUSTER 

“I’m going to try my hardest, first, to work across the aisle,” he said in September when asked about ending the filibuster. “Then, if, tragically, Republicans don’t change the tune or their behavior at all, I would.”

Fox News reached out to all of the other 26 Democratic signatories of the 2017 letter, and they all either distanced themselves from that position or did not respond to Fox News’ inquiry.

“Less than four years ago, when Donald Trump was President and Mitch McConnell was the Majority Leader, 61 Senators, including more than 25 Democrats, signed their names in opposition to any efforts that would curtail the filibuster,” a GOP aide told Fox News. “Other than the occupant of the White House, and the balance of power in the Senate, what’s changed?”

“I’m interested in getting results for the American people, and I hope we will find common ground to advance key priorities,” Sen. Tim Kaine. D-Va., said in a statement. “If Republicans try to use arcane rules to block us from getting results for the American people, then we’ll have a conversation at that time.”

Added Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va: “I am still hopeful that the Senate can work together in a bipartisan way to address the enormous challenges facing the country. But when it comes to fundamental issues like protecting Americans from draconian efforts attacking their constitutional right to vote, it would be a mistake to take any option off the table.”

“Senator Stabenow understands the urgency of passing important legislation, including voting rights, and thinks it warrants a discussion about the filibuster if Republicans refuse to work across the aisle,” Robyn Bryan, a spokesperson for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said.

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo, Sen.Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks to reporters in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Casey has reversed his stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter in support of it. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo, Sen.Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks to reporters in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Casey has reversed his stance on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter in support of it. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Representatives for Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pointed to recent comments he made on MSNBC.

“Yes, absolutely,” Casey said when asked if he would support a “talking filibuster” or something similar. “Major changes to the filibuster for someone like me would not have been on the agenda even a few years ago. But the Senate does not work like it used to.”

MCCONNELL SAYS SENATE WILL BE ‘100-CAR PILEUP’ IF DEMS NUKE FILIBUSTER

“I hope any Democratic senator who’s not currently in support of changing the rules or altering them substantially, I hope they would change their minds,” Casey added.

Representatives for Sen. Angus King, I-Vt., who caucuses with Democrats, meanwhile, references a Bangor Daily News editorial that said King was completely against the filibuster in 2012 but now believes it’s helpful in stopping bad legislation. It said, however, that King is open to “modifications” similar to a talking filibuster.

The senators who did not respond to questions on their 2017 support of the filibuster were Sens. Joe Manchin. D-W.Va.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; Maize Hirono, D-Hawaii; John Tester, D-Mont.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Jack Reed, D-R-I.; Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

Some of these senators, however, have addressed the filibuster in other recent comments.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Wednesday was asked if she supported changing the filibuster threshold by CNN and said she is still opposed to the idea. “Not at this time,” Feinstein said.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Hirono has changed her opinion on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter supporting it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Hirono has changed her opinion on the legislative filibuster since signing a 2017 letter supporting it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sen. Maize Hirono, D-Hawaii, meanwhile said last week she is already for getting rid of the current 60-vote threshold and thinks other Democrats will sign on soon.

“If Mitch McConnell continues to be totally an obstructionist, and he wants to use the 60 votes to stymie everything that President Biden wants to do and that we Democrats want to do that will actually help people,” Hirono said, “then I think the recognition will be among the Democrats that we’re gonna need to.”

The most recent talk about either removing or significantly weakening the filibuster was spurred by comments from Manchin that appeared to indicate he would be open to a talking filibuster. He said filibustering a bill should be more “painful” for a minority.

Manchin appeared to walk back any talk of a talking filibuster on Wednesday, however.

“You know where my position is,” he said. “There’s no little bit of this and a little bit — there’s no little bit here. You either protect the Senate, you protect the institution and you protect democracy or you don’t.”

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., both committed to supporting the current form of the filibuster earlier this year. Sinema was not in the Senate in 2017.

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said their comments gave him the reassurance he needed to drop a demand that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., put filibuster protections into the Senate’s organizing resolution.

But with Manchin seeming to flake at least in the eyes of some, other Democrats are beginning to push harder for filibuster changes.

I read this about your abortion views:

Senator Schatz has voted against efforts to protect the lives of babies born alive after failed abortions, and against efforts to protect taxpayers who don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for elective abortion. Senator Schatz has also voted consistently against the confirmation of judges and justices who will respect the constitution, and against executive nominees devoted to protecting life domestically and abroad.

Senator let me answer some objections to the pro-life view.

We 

Below is an excerpt from a paper by Carl Sagan on abortion followed by an excerpt from a sermon by Adrian Rogers. 

Carl Sagan noted: “If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Government [should] protect the weak from the strong…”

Sagan said this only to attempt to poke holes in this argument. 

Adrian Rogers answers back with some logical points: 


  • “I can do whatever I want with my body. A woman’s body is hers to do with as she wishes. She has freedom of choice.” 

No, you don’t have complete control over your own body. You don’t have a right to ingest crack cocaine or be a prostitute. You can’t even ride a motorcycle in this state without a helmet on. We don’t have an absolute right to our own bodies.

And the child is not merely “part of the mother’s body.” He or she is a new life, altogether different, with their own unique DNA, circulatory system, often a different blood type than the mother, and certainly their own unique fingerprints. The nucleus of a human cell has 46 chromosomes, 23 from the father and 23 from the mother. The child is is as much a part of the father as the mother. It is life, and it is life from God. The mother is carrying a completely different person. She does not have freedom of choice in God’s sight to kill another person, even if that person is living inside her body. The baby is in her body; the baby is not her body. I have no right to kill an unwanted guest in my home. They may cause me inconvenience, but I have no right to put them to death. 

  • “Without abortion, the poor will be overburdened.”

We’re told having a child overburdens the poor. But 53% of those getting abortions have no other children. Over 33% are going back for the second, third, and fourth abortion. In many instances they are professional women who do not want their profession interrupted, or have conceived through illicit sex, or just don’t want to be bothered with a child. 

  • “Life begins when the child begins to breathe.” The baby is already receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord.
  • “Abortion is sometimes necessary to save the mother’s life.” Only in the rarest instances. In fact, former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Coup said that with medical advances, abortion is never needed today to save the mother’s life: “With all that modern medicine has to offer, partial birth abortions are not needed to save the life of a mother.” Dr. Jerome LeJune, world famous geneticist, said he would set out to save the life of a mother, and if in the process the child dies, it would be tragic. “I would do everything I could to save the life of the mother, but I would never attack and kill an unborn child.” With today’s medicine, the need for an abortion to save a mother’s life is extremely rare. 
  • “What if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest?” Only one-tenth of 1% of today’s abortions are performed on babies conceived because of rape. This argument does not hold water. Of course, rape is a terrible, horrible, heinous crime, but the baby didn’t commit the crime. Ethel Waters, who is now in heaven, sang many times in the Billy Graham crusades. A great Gospel singer, she was born out of a pregnancy due to rape. Who would say Ethel Waters should not have been born to bless the world? Ruth, an ancestress of the Lord Jesus Christ, was a descendent of Moab, born out of an incestuous relationship. You can’t play God in cases like that. 

Let me ask a question. If there is a one month old baby in the crib, born to a victim of rape, would you kill the one month old baby? If you wouldn’t, don’t kill the baby when it is one month before being born. 

  • “There may be a danger of deformity.” There may be. Are we going to eliminate everyone we feel is defective or deformed? To be allowed to live, how perfect do you need to be? If we eliminate the deformed in the womb, why don’t we eliminate the deformed after birth? An eminent professor at Yale University now advocates just that: keep the baby for a while to decide whether or not you want the child to live (infanticide). If we are going to eliminate the deformed, who draws the line where we stop? 
  • “I’m personally against abortion myself, but I don’t want to take away someone’s right to choose.”You hear politicians use this as an “out” all the time. Let’s suppose we had been alive back in the days of Nazi Germany. Suppose people were saying Hitler ought not to be killing the Jews in the Holocaust. But suppose one of our politicians were to stand and say, “I am personally against killing Jews, but what somebody does in his own private gas chamber is his business.” Do you see the parallel with “I’m personally against abortion, but what somebody does with their own body is their business”? 
  • “I choose not to have this baby.” No, you already have a baby. Your choice is, are you going to choose a live baby or a dead one? You already have a baby; that’s the point.
  • “Unwanted babies are victims of child abuse.” Statistics prove children who were unplanned or unwanted when conceived are no more apt to be abused than others. And there are many loving couples standing in line saying, “Give us that baby. We will love and take care of it.” 
  • “We need to be concerned about the population explosion.” The old “population bomb” myth was put to rest years ago. In fact, many countries are below zero population growth now. There are childless couples wanting babies, begging for babies, wanting to adopt babies, and can’t get them. We may be eliminating the person who has the cure for cancer because we put them to death.

Sincerely, 

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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