"Squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., admitted in an interview with Axios' Jonathan Swan that it would have been "unfortunate" had the filibuster not existed during the presidency of Donald Trump, as Democrats currently try to abolish the political procedure.

The filibuster is a Senate debate tool in which a senator or group of senators can delay or outright prevent voting on a bill. The procedure typically benefits the minority party in the Senate and can broken by a cloture vote with 60 votes in favor. Tlaib has previously argued that supporters of the filibuster are motivated by racism.


 President Joe Biden is greeted by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Detroit, Michigan,U.S., May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Most recently, Republicans used the filibuster to block the Democrats' "For the People Act," an election overhaul bill that would have imposed federal standards on state elections and weakened voter ID laws.


"The use of the filibuster seems to be triggered in points like this, where it is about uplifting Black folks in our country, and protecting them," Tlaib told Axios.

But, reminding Tlaib that Democrats used the filibuster several times numerous times between 2015 and 2021 when they were the minority party, Swan pressed the congresswoman on whether her fight against the filibuster is just a "fight of convenience" depending on which party is in power. In that interval, Democrats used the filibuster to block Republican bills that would have ended Planned Parenthood funding, funding for sanctuary cities, and more. Swan wondered if the tool had not been helpful for Democrats during Trump's years in the White House. 

"It would have been unfortunate, of course," Tlaib said. "But I'll tell you this much, maybe it would have created the movement that needed to happen outside of Congress to demand accountability, right? But I don't want something to be used and over and over again to stop protecting my Black neighbors." 

Rashida Tlaib

UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.,  attends the House Natural Resources Committee hearing titled Examining the Department of the Interior's Spending Priorities and the President's FY2022 Budget Proposal, in Longworth Building on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Swan again pushed Tlaib on this point, asking if she'll still try to abolish the procedure if Republicans take back Congress in 2022, laughing as he asked if she'd become an "overnight fan" of it.

"I mean I think abolishing the filibuster is critical," she replied, saying "of course" she'd still advocate for its elimination.

"Even when looking at the history of the filibuster, it's just over and over again, not good for our country," she added.


U.S. Reps; Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) hold a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump's attacks on the four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Tlaib's fellow "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has previously accused her Democratic colleagues who don't support nixing the filibuster of "killing our democracy."

She may have been referring to moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., both of whom have long opposed abolishing the filibuster. Sinema even penned an op-ed for The Washington Post warning that ending the procedure could lead to "repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans’ confidence in our government."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a third "Squad" member, blasted the Arizona senator for that take, accusing her of engaging in "defeatism" and turning her back on vulnerable Americans.


In July, however, President Biden appeared to try and talk Democrats down from their efforts, saying eliminating the filibuster would throw the entire Congress "into chaos."