Sen. Mitt Romney is defending the Senate filibuster as Democrats look to eliminate or find ways around the rule that continues to blunt their agenda.

And one of the arguments the Utah Republican uses against the idea is the “reasonable chance” that Donald Trump could be elected president and Republicans could control both houses in Congress in 2024.

“Have Democrats thought through what it would mean for them for Trump to be entirely unrestrained, with the Democratic minority having no power whatsoever? If Democrats eliminate the filibuster now, they — and the country — may soon regret it very much,” Romney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

As president, Trump repeatedly pressed then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to scrap the 60-vote rule for a simple majority to advance his agenda.

Amid the tax cut debate in September 2017, Trump tweeted, “With the ridiculous Filibuster Rule in the Senate, Republicans need 60 votes to pass legislation, rather than 51. Can’t get votes, END NOW!”

Some Senate Democrats this year have suggested changing the rule, which requires 60 of the Senate’s 100 members to agree to pass most legislation.

President Joe Biden, who opposed any significant changes to the rule during his 36 years in the Senate, said last month that the chamber should “fundamentally alter” the filibuster process, but did not offer specifics. The 50-50 split in the Senate has stopped Biden and the Democrats from pushing through big-ticket items such as voting rights and social program expansion.

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In his op-ed, Romney said now with the barest majorities in the Senate, Democrats “conveniently ignore” their previous defense of the filibuster. Thirty Democrats in 2017 signed a letter imploring Senate leaders to preserve the existing rules. Romney quoted Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., now the majority leader, calling attempts to do away with the filibuster a “temper tantrum” and stressing in 2017 that “no senator would like to see that happen.”

Romney also criticized former President Barack Obama for describing the filibuster in a July speech as a “Jim Crow relic” that should be eliminated if it gets in the way of Democratic voting legislation or admitting Washington, D.C., as a state. For Obama to make that “absurd” charge after defending the filibuster himself a few years ago was “jarring and deeply disappointing,” Romney said.

“Let us also be clear that those who claim the filibuster is racist know better,” Romney wrote. “I don’t recall a single claim from Democrats that employing the filibuster was racist when they were in the minority.”

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Romney said the Senate is the only institution in the federal government that empowers the minority. The majority decides in the House; the majority decides in the Supreme Court; and the president is a majority of one. Abandoning the principle of minority empowerment would fundamentally change the distinct and defining role of the Senate, he said.

“Consider how different the Senate would be without the filibuster. Whenever one party replaced the other as the majority, tax and spending priorities, safety net programs, national security policy and cultural interests would careen from one extreme to the other, creating uncertainty and unpredictability for families, employers and our partners around the world,” he wrote.

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Romney said the filibuster rule requires the Senate to find middle ground and compromise. He said it ensures that legislation doesn’t originate from the extreme wing of either party and would best represent the interests of a broad swath of Americans.

“It not only empowers the minority but also has helped to keep us centered,” he wrote, “fostering the stability and predictability essential to investment in people, in capital and in the future.”

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