The primary argument against reforming or abolishing the Filibuster seems to be that if (realistically, when) Republicans take control of the government again, there would be nothing keeping them from ramming through their legislative agenda over the objections of the minority party.
Yet when I think back to the last time Republicans held a trifecta in the US government (from 2017-2019), it's hard to think of any legislation that they wanted to implement which was blocked by the filibuster. Their main legislative achievement (the Trump tax bill) was passed using reconciliation, while the ACA repeal would also have passed using reconciliation, but it failed to even get 50 votes.
The question is: what, if any, legislation did Republicans try to pass during the period of total control which was blocked by the filibuster? That would be legislation (or major parts of legislation) that passed the House, had the approval of the President, and had the support of >50 but <60 Senators and could be blocked a filibuster (ie. not subject to reconciliation) during the 115th Congress.
To address some concerns raised in the comments:
- I know that it's possible that some priorities were not pursued since the existence of the filibuster made passage unlikely. I've noticed that politicians often push bills with no chance of passage to show their constituents that they're trying to address their concerns and to push the blame onto the other party for blocking them. I'm not looking for everything, just a few examples of bills that could have passed had the filibuster not existed.
- The concern has been raised that very few bills are killed directly by the filibuster – often they simply never come to a vote once it's clear they won't get 60 votes. That's why I'm focusing on the >50 but <60 Senator threshold.
- People have raised the difference between a failed cloture vote and an actual filibuster. I'd argue that this isn't a meaningful distinction anymore: the filibuster hasn't been about standing up and holding the floor for hours until you collapse for decades. Since filibusters can currently be kept up indefinitely with zero effort or effect on Senate business, the cloture vote is what makes a filibuster. In the kind of case I'm looking for, the bill was voted on, it got majority support, but was blocked by the filibuster's 60-vote requirement. That's different from a case where a bill was not brought up or voted on and Senators never had to go on the record.
- Some examples of examples pushed by the Democrats are:
- The "public-option" for the ACA, which passed the House but was removed from the Senate bill after Joe Lieberman objected
- The "For the People Act", also known as HR1 (the current voting right bill), which passed the House and has the support of all 50 Democratic Senators (though not all are yet willing to change the filibuster to pass it)