OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden spent decades in the U.S. Senate supporting a rule known as the “filibuster,” which requires 60 votes to advance most legislation.
But now that he’s president and his regime has moved increasingly to the far left, he doesn’t hold as much reverence for Senate tradition, especially when it comes to an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy (good or bad).
After his “Build Back Better” bill filled with trillions in new social and climate spending measures went down in flames last week, Democrats have shifted focus to a “voting rights” measure that would rewrite or strike down most current state laws governing elections, despite the fact that the Constitution clearly delineated that authority to states, primarily, and not Congress.
But like Build Back Better, the voting reforms face the same hurdle: 50 Republicans in a 100-member Senate that will not support the federalization of elections. So Biden appears to have been instructed to oppose upholding the filibuster just for the voting rights bill because the republic will collapse if he doesn’t– or something like that.
In an interview with ABC News, Biden was asked if was okay with fundamental changes to the filibuster rules in order to the measure.
“Yes,” Biden said. “That means whatever it takes. Change the Senate rules to accommodate [a] major piece of legislation without requiring 60 votes.
“If the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster,” Biden said.
Newsmax adds more:
With his signature social spending and climate bill blocked in the Senate, Biden and Democrats are focusing on passing select parts of their progressive agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday said Democrats have “lots of ways” to pass two voting rights bills — including by changing the rules governing a filibuster.
“Every one of the 50 [Democrat] senators supports the bill, but we’ll never get Republicans,” Schumer said in an interview with SiriusXM’s Joe Madison on “The Black Eagle.” “And we’ve proven that to Joe Manchin and everybody else because we gave Joe a couple of months, and said, ‘hey, we have a bill all Democrats support, including you,’ but we couldn’t get Republicans.”
Two weeks ago, reports noted that Manchin was talking with colleagues about making small changes to Senate rules with Republicans.
“Most of us would argue that the only thing that it takes to get the Senate working better is behavioral change … but he is trying to come up with some fairly, I would say, creative ideas about the rules,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the No. 2 Senate Republican, told The Hill.
But in October, Manchin said that “it makes no sense to me” to abandon the Senate filibuster.
And he’s not the only one: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another moderate Democrat, said this week that while she supports the voting measure, she does not support tanking the filibuster — a position that she, too, has elaborated upon in the past.
A spokesperson said that the senator “continues to support the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, to protect the country from repeated radical reversals in federal policy which would cement uncertainty, deepen divisions, and further erode Americans’ confidence in our government.”
“Senator Sinema has asked those who want to weaken or eliminate the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation which she supports if it would be good for our country to do so,” her spokesperson John LaBombard said.
He argued that if they did that then it could be “rescinded in a few years and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law, nationwide restrictions on vote-by-mail, or other voting restrictions currently passing in some states extended nationwide.”