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Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Murphy backs removing filibuster after saying she hadn't 'given it much thought'

Tammy Murphy, the first lady of New Jersey and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, at an event in Harrison, New Jersey in November 2023.
Tammy Murphy, the first lady of New Jersey and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, at an event in Harrison, New Jersey in November 2023.Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images
  • Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, is a leading candidate for New Jersey's US Senate seat.

  • Murphy recently said she hadn't thought about whether she supports abolishing the filibuster.

  • But her campaign told BI on Tuesday that she supports the move "to make meaningful progress."

Tammy Murphy, a leading Democratic candidate for Senate in New Jersey, is endorsing the removal of the Senate's "filibuster" rule.

Under Senate "filibuster" rules, 60 votes are required to advance most legislation. Democrats are unlikely to hold that many seats any time in the foreseeable future, meaning Republicans effectively have a veto over most party-line bills from Democrats in the upper chamber.

"Tammy is in favor of removing the filibuster and believes that reforms are necessary in order to make meaningful progress on crucial legislation," campaign spokeswoman Alex Altman told Business Insider in a statement on Tuesday.

It comes after Murphy — the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy — told New York Magazine that she did not have a position on the issue.

"I don't know," Murphy said in that December interview. "I haven't given it a lot of thought other than I hate it when I watch it."

Murphy is facing off against Rep. Andy Kim in the June 4 Democratic primary. Both candidates entered the race after Sen. Bob Menendez was indicted on charges of bribery and acting as a foreign agent.

For his part, Kim has long been critical of the filibuster. In a statement sent after the initial publication of this story, Kim said that he had "long called for reforms to the filibuster" — while taking a swipe at Murphy.

"I haven't just started thinking about fixing our democracy during this campaign," said Kim, saying he would vote to "reform the filibuster" to allow the passage of voting rights and abortion legislation.

It's arguably the most important institutional question for any Democratic Senate candidate this election cycle, one that will make or break their ability to pass major legislation if they can regain control of the House while holding the Senate and White House.

In 2021 and 2022, Democratic opposition to the came to a fiery head, with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and then-Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona staunchly opposing changes to the rule.

The other 48 Democrats, meanwhile, supported at least waiving the rule in order to pass voting rights legislation, as well as abortion protections following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Democrats were still able to advance key party-line bills — including the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan — using budget "reconciliation" rules, which allow passage of budget-related bills with a simple majority.

But other major pieces of legislation that came out of the Senate, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act, all required the support of at least 10 Republican senators.

With Manchin not seeking reelection and Sinema unlikely to win if she runs, 2024 offers the next best chance for Democrats to abolish, or at least weaken, the filibuster with 50 votes.

But even that will be a tricky task, requiring Democrats to hold onto particularly tough seats in Ohio and Montana while sweeping other swing states.

Read the original article on Business Insider