President Joe Biden reiterated his opposition to abolishing the Senate obstruction rule on Wednesday, saying that instead of making it easier to pass legislation, it will actually make it more difficult.
“There is no reason to protect it except that you are going to plunge the whole of Congress into chaos and nothing will be done,” Biden said at a CNN town hall. “Nothing at all will be done, and there is a lot at stake.”
Right now, it takes essentially 60 votes to pass a law in the Senate, thanks to filibuster. So even though Democrats are in the majority, they still can’t move forward on most of their agenda.
The Democratic caucus is not united on abolishing filibuster. But support for doing so is increasing. Former President Barack Obama last year called it a “Jim Crow relic” that was used to block civil rights reform, saying the Senate should get rid of it to advance rights-expanding legislation. to vote.
Biden said he agreed it was a relic from the Jim Crow era, but he always said he believed the filibuster should be preserved because he wanted convince Republicans to support voting rights legislation.
“I want to make sure that we not only bring in all Democrats, we bring in Republicans that I know better. They know better than that, ”Biden said. “What I don’t want to do is get caught up in the argument right now about whether this is all about filibuster.”
Republicans, however, are not coming. Every Senate Republican recently blocked debate on the For the People Act, a vast body of voting rights and anti-corruption legislation.
In other words, Republicans used filibuster to block the bill.
Of course, abolishing filibuster would not mean that legislation cannot always be bipartisan. Republicans who “know better” could sign. It would simply ensure that a minority cannot block the legislation.
Biden also said Republicans would like Democrats to abolish filibuster so that they can make it a political issue and “have a filibuster debate” instead of focusing on, say, credit to the filibuster. expanded tax for children.
Still, Democrats passed the US bailout, which provided that extra money to parents, through a process known as reconciliation, meaning they could do it with a majority of votes. The ARP passed both the House and the Senate without any Republican backing it. Democrats sidestepped the obstruction in order to move it forward.
Democrats thought it was important enough to go without bipartisan support, and it’s been so popular that Republicans who opposed it even try to take credit for it. Much of the debate and discussion around it has not focused on the number of votes it received from each party.
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