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Supporting filibuster is good for Arizona

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2020 file photo, the Senate side of the Capitol is seen in Washington. Looming over the Senate Democrats this year is a decision that could fundamentally change Congress as it has operated for decades. That's whether they should change or eliminate the rules of the filibuster. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2020 file photo, the Senate side of the Capitol is seen in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Greater Phoenix Chamber has a long history of advocating on behalf of the business community at both the local and national level. We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing legislation that keeps Arizona’s economy strong and competitive, and ensures Arizonans have the opportunity to prosper. We have supported candidates on both sides of the aisle who share these objectives and are willing to work in a bipartisan manner to achieve outcomes that benefit Arizonans. 

As local governments, businesses, and associations work to recover from a pandemic that left virtually everyone struggling, it is disheartening to see politicians in Washington primarily focused on long-term, damaging policies, like changing the filibuster from the U.S. Senate’s current 60-vote requirement to a simple 51-vote majority. 

Todd Sanders

Todd Sanders

Destroying the filibuster may seem like a quick fix to pass legislation now, but as power shifts across parties and leadership, it will ultimately be counterproductive and lead to unhealthy and constant reversal of policies. 

Changing the filibuster to a simple majority would quickly advance legislation now — some of which you may favor and may prove to be beneficial. But at some point, the majority will shift, and these policies will be reversed. And two to six years after that, it will happen again. Rather than bipartisan cooperation that leads to lasting results, we will remain in a never-ending cycle of political discord.  

This idea poses a threat to our democracy. It sets the stage for a future of partisan politics, with important policies being reversed at every shift of power. It is a short-sighted ambition and one that could lead to a perpetual state of uncertainty for job creators, businesses, and individuals alike. 

The filibuster incentivizes our lawmakers to advance bipartisan legislation and lessen the partisan divide in Congress. Lawmakers from both parties have relied on the filibuster for decades, and it guarantees every state and both parties have a seat at the table. To be frank, business leaders are tired of the hyper-partisan mindset of “you’re either with us or against us.” Businesses need and depend on commonsense, practical solutions and policies that move the country and economy forward. 

This is a pivotal moment in history, and we have obstacles that our country must face together as one nation. Our state has a longstanding history of elected leaders who have crossed party lines in favor of policies that best represent the value of Arizonans. As the filibuster remains a hot button issue, I urge our senators to prioritize our state and our democracy by supporting the continuation of the 60-vote requirement. 

Todd Sanders is president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. 

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