Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Begins “Tax Cut Filibuster”

Vermont’s Bernie Sanders is on the Senate floor right now in what he says is a filibuster of the tax deal:

A leading Senate liberal waged an act of protest against President Obama’s tax-cut proposal on the Senate floor Friday morning.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — a self-described democratic socialist — railed against the plan in a lengthy floor speech that he said “you [can] call … a filibuster.”

“You can call what i am doing today whatever you want, you it [sic] call it a filibuster, you can call it a very long speech … ,” read a message posted on Sanders’s Twitter account after he’d taken to the rostrum at around 10:20 a.m.

Most congressional Democrats have loudly protested against the tax-cut deal Obama struck with Republicans, which includes a two-year extension of all the expiring Bush tax cuts in exchange for a 13-month renewal of unemployment benefits.

Sanders has said he will do “whatever it takes” to block the deal, “including a filibuster.”

So far, Sanders has had the floor for an hour and a half. You can watch CSPAN 2 to see how long it lasts.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Quick Takes, Taxes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Jack says:

    If he ends up doing a “real” filibuster, not yielding the floor but instead speaking for hours and hours and hours, well, then, at least he’s walking his talk and that merits some level of respect.

  2. mantis says:

    It’s real, and he’s still going. Over 4 hours now.

  3. mica720 says:

    till talking @ 1445 EST

  4. Alan Arsiniega says:

    Go, Bernie, Go!

  5. Bernie Sanders is my hero! Elect this guy as President!

  6. mica720 says:

    1804EST still talking

  7. DEREK says:

    Very, EXCELLENT, Presentation as seen on CNN Dec., 10 2010. I believe you are right Sir. I see from afar U.S.A is in trouble mostly due to laws created to suppress the common worker and gratifies the wealthy. My best wishes for you in your endevours.

  8. […] Read story → This entry was posted in By US site, News, Via Reddit and tagged Bookmark the permalink. ← Tata’s Nano, the People’s Car That Few Want to Buy – AP Enterprise: FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraft – Yahoo! News → […]

  9. […] at OTB, the little one-off post I did yesterday morning noting that Sanders had been on the floor for about an hour and a half and […]

  10. Don Day says:

    Based on the data the Senator from Vermont has provided, this tax bill and the GOP are not only wrong but they’re invalid in every way. The thought that the middle class (me) pay proportionately more tax than people who make over a million dollars and that the top 400 families paid no tax is not unacceptable.

  11. Don Day says:

    Go Senator. the republicans should be ashamed of themselves. how can anybody believe in anything they say in future when their clear purpose in life is wealth at any cost.

  12. […] On the right, William Jacobson and Jazz Shaw both seem to doubt that the Democrats will go through with this, on the theory that they will want to have this arrow in their quiver when they’re in the minority again, which could come as soon as 2013 if the GOP is able to take back the Senate in 2012. I’m not so sure. First of all, as noted, these proposed reforms wouldn’t completely eliminate the filibuster, they would just make it a little more difficult to maintain and require the minority to make their actions far more public than they are today. After the experiences of the past two years, I imagine there’s plenty of Democrats who are willing to sign up for reform at this point. Secondly, there’s nothing sacrosanct about the filibuster or the 60 vote cloture rule. As Ezra Klein notes above, that number of votes required to break a filibuster has changed three times in the last 100 years, there’s no reason why it can’t change again. Finally, Bernie Sanders showed us just two weeks ago what a real filibuster should look like. […]