2020 hopeful Jay Inslee urges end to filibuster, electoral college: "It's time for us to have democracy again"

Jay Inslee: "Electoral college needs to go"

With a 2020 campaign centered on fighting climate change, Washington Governor Jay Inslee told "CBS This Morning" that taking on issues as large as the environment can be done by ending "archaic" political processes like the Senate filibuster rule and the electoral college. 

While there currently is a Republican majority in the Senate, many of whom that think the human contribution to climate change is minimal, Inslee said that the country as a whole is "scientifically literate" but admitted that the political system "has to change" in order to get real progress made on climate action. 

"There's nothing wrong to say democracy can be reformed and improved," Inlsee said. 

"If this nation is going to make any major reforms, in health care, in climate change, the filibuster needs to go. It's archaic, its time has passed, it's time for us to have democracy again and movement in this country," said Inslee. The filibuster rule was originally used by senators to control the Senate floor in order to prevent a potential vote on a bill. 

Joining the chorus of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, Inslee added, "I believe that it's time to have popular elections so the people's vote decides who the president is, rather than the electoral college. I think the electoral college needs to go." 

Inslee noted a rising trend among multiple states signing on to an agreement to be bound by the popular vote. Fifteen jurisdictions have already enacted the National Popular Vote compact into law. Collectively, the states that have signed on control 189 electoral votes. The measure would not take effect until enacted by enough states to secure another 81 electoral votes -- for a total of 270, the number needed to win the presidency. 

He said the group only needs "a few more states" to make the compact effective "so you can essentially effectuate the popular vote even without a Constitutional amendment."

Inlsee added, "This is the popular will, we ought to have one person one vote and ought to have the ability to move a clean energy economy."

Inslee called the issue of climate change a matter of "urgent peril," knocking President Trump's repeated claims that climate change is a "hoax", as well as the president's recent unfounded claim that wind turbines cause cancer. Inslee said that climate-based policies "cause jobs" instead. 

"We have a message for America of job creation -- we already have 3 million people working in clean energy industries, the most rapidly growing job is in solar installers, number two is wind turbine technician, so what is happening now is people are realizing the economic potential and job-creating potential of growing a clean energy economy and that's why this is rapidly changing," Inslee said. 

"I think we're ready for a president who believes we can do big things again rather than being fearful, hiding behind walls," he said. "That's the spirit of America and I think we're ready for a leader like that."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital