Joni Ernst tells Democrats to 'cool it' on filibuster change

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Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, cracked out sunglasses on the Senate floor Wednesday and told Democrats to “cool it” with their efforts to roll back the filibuster rule.

In a speech Wednesday afternoon where she defended the 60-vote tradition, Ernst noted that George Washington famously said the Senate was created to “cool” House legislation, just as a saucer was used to cool hot tea. 

Ernst stood next to a giant poster of the first president wearing sunglasses with the words: “COOL IT!”

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“Before casting a vote that could fundamentally change the Senate forever, I would urge my Democratic colleagues to take some advice about the intended behavior of the Senate from our nation’s greatest statesman, George Washington, and cool it,” Ernst said as she put sunglasses on her face.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wears sunglasses and tells Democrats to 'cool it' on changing the Senate filibuster in a floor speech on Jan. 12, 2022.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wears sunglasses and tells Democrats to ‘cool it’ on changing the Senate filibuster in a floor speech on Jan. 12, 2022.
(CSPAN)

Ernst’s speech was part of an effort by Senate Republicans Wednesday to call out Democrats’ hypocrisy for pushing to undo the Senate filibuster when they previously fought hard to preserve the 60-vote Senate rule. Other GOP speakers included Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rick Scott of Florida and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

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It wasn’t the first time Ernst used props this week to take a swipe at Democrats. 

At a news conference Tuesday, Ernst held up a pair of flip-flop sandals as she accused Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of a “filibuster flop-flop.” 

Sen. Joni Enst, R-Iowa, accuses Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of a "filibuster flip-flop," while holding flip-flops. (Fox News)

Sen. Joni Enst, R-Iowa, accuses Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of a “filibuster flip-flop,” while holding flip-flops. (Fox News)

Schumer, like most of the Democrats, previously argued in favor of the filibuster when Republicans were in charge.

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Schumer and President Biden now want to undo the longstanding Senate tradition to pass a pair of voting rights bills they say are necessary to preserve democracy in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot and GOP-led efforts in states to change voting laws.

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