On the campaign trail and in the White House, Joe Biden has insisted that he is not for ending the filibuster, which many of his party cadres support. Now Biden is changing his tune.
EXCLUSIVE: @GStephanopoulos: “You’re for bringing back the talking filibuster?”
— ABC News (@ABC) March 17, 2021
The legislative filibuster has proven to be a burden for Biden’s agenda as the Senate remains a 50-50 with VP Harris as the tie breaker. Reform advocates wish to dismantle any attempt to Biden’s legislation through means of the Senate filibuster.
Joe’s position has wavered, often from day to day. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki seemed to break from Biden’s position when she told reporters the president is “open to hearing” ideas on the filibuster but that he prefers “not to make changes.”
Under current Senate rules, the Democrats must get at least ten Republican Senators on board with their legislative agenda if they wish to bring bills for floor debate or for a vote.
Democrats say the filibuster will hold up agenda items on issues such as immigration reform and voting rights and are calling to either eliminate the procedure or change the rules. The filibuster has evolved since its beginnings to become a procedure invoked by the Senate’s minority party to stop bills that won’t pass without at least 60 votes.
Some Democrats are against changing the filibuster — namely Sens. Manchin and Sinema. Both have been vocal opponents of their party’s hope to change Senate rules.
However, Manchin also said he hopes to get to the point of working in a bipartisan manner so that 10 or 15 Republicans will be willing to work with Democrats on legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, warned Democrats on Tuesday that changing the filibuster would create “chaos” that “would not open up an express lane to liberal change. It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books. The Senate would be more like a hundred-car pile-up. Nothing moving.”
McConnell added that Republicans would take advantage of any changes in the rules when they won the Senate majority again, and that “this pendulum would swing both ways — hard.”