Joe Biden Says He’s Willing To Kill the Filibuster

The Senate needs to make significant changes in order to be able to adopt bills that will make major changes to federal election rules. President Joe Biden believes this is necessary to ensure the passage of legislation.

Biden made the following statement Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta: If Republicans don’t vote for two important election bills that will be brought to the Senate Floor in the coming days then the Senate needs to change its rules so they can pass them with a simple majority.

Biden declared, “I feel that there is a serious threat to democracy that we should find a way for us to pass these voting rights laws.” Let the majority win, debate them and vote. We have no other choice than to amend the Senate rules and get rid of filibuster if the majority is not present.

Democrats hold the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, which is currently split 50–50 with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tiebreaker. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) says he will bring two more election bills before the House in the following weeks, despite almost unanimous Republican opposition. The Freedom to Vote Act, which would restrict state efforts to limit mail-in and absentee voting, makes Election Day a federal holiday and imposes new rules for redistricting. It also requires more disclosures by political donors. John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (the second bill) would restore a part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden presented the bills Tuesday as an answer to Republican attempts (in Georgia, elsewhere) tightening election laws. It was also a necessary rejoinder (in Georgia, elsewhere) for former President Donald Trump’s craven efforts to affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

He said, “That’s America.” “That is what they do when they take away the right of voting.”

Republican attempts at imposing new elections rules run the risk that democracy is corroded. Trump’s efforts to reverse the results of the previous presidential election are abominable and grotesque. It’s unclear that Democrats’ suggestions make any sense. A greater degree of federal oversight over elections could make it easier for a future president to exert undue influence on democratic processes.

However, it is not clear if Democrats will be able to pass these bills. AfterSuspending the filibuster may be moot because there don’t appear to be 50 votes in Senate for abolishing it in the first instance.

On Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.), reiterated his opposition against the elimination of the rule. He told reporters on Tuesday that “we need good rules changes” to improve the functioning of the country. However, getting rid of filibuster won’t make it more efficient. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) Similar opposition to the elimination of filibuster. It is likely that they aren’t the only Senate Democrats opposed to this idea.

One of the strange things about the Senate is that 60 votes are required to pass most bills, but it takes only a simple majority to change any of the rules governing the Senate—including the 60-vote threshold for passing most bills. Filibuster is only there because no Senate majority decided to eliminate it. Perhaps because every subsequent Senate majority recognized that getting rid of filibuster would backfire if control of the chamber is inevitably flipped to one party.

Biden knows this is an actual reality. Biden warned Republicans back when he represented the Senate against blowing up filibuster.

He is now pushing the other way.

“To protect our democracy, I support changing our Senate rules—whatever way they have to be changed to protect majority rule,” Biden said Tuesday.

Biden’s problem is the fact that current filibuster rules appear to be supported by a majority U.S. senators. If Democrats do find themselves in the Senate minority again, they might be grateful for this fact.