Biden REJECTS Eliminating The Filibuster Because ‘The Entire Congress Would Be Thrown Into Chaos And Nothing Would Be Done’
- Biden instead called for tougher standards to issue a filibuster
- He cited previous requirements for filibuster from when he was first elected in 1972
- The president spoke at an invitation-only city hall event at a university in Cincinnati, Ohio, moderated by CNN host Don Lemon
- Lemon told Biden his opinion of it was ‘important to people who are like me’
- Eliminating the filibuster could potentially pave the way for Democrats to enact issues including infrastructure spending and voting rights legislation
- A recent vote on infrastructure spending backfired in the Senate when Democrats failed to secure the 60-vote majority needed to overcome a GOP filibuster
Joe Biden rejected the idea of eliminating the filibuster at a CNN City Hall in Cincinnati Wednesday night, warning that doing so would “plunge the entire Congress into chaos” where “nothing at all would be done.”
Speaking at an invitation-only event moderated by Don Lemon, Biden was asked by a first-year law student why he hadn’t taken more action to advance voting rights legislation.
“Isn’t it logical to get rid of the filibuster so we can protect our democracy and secure the right to vote?” the graduate asked to enthusiastic applause.
At one point, Lemon stepped in to pressure the president, at which point he snapped, “Let me finish my answer.”
A Senate vote on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill backfired as expected on Wednesday, with many GOP senators voicing concerns about voting on legislation they haven’t seen and feared it could pave the way for larger spending packages on Biden’s agenda.
Democrats would need to win a “super-majority” of 60 votes to overcome Republican efforts to freeze the bill indefinitely via a filibuster, or approve Biden’s agenda via budget reconciliation. Wednesday’s vote failed 49-51.
Biden said eliminating the filibuster would throw Congress into “chaos” and distract from passing other items on Democrats’ agendas
A recent college graduate asked Biden why he wasn’t doing more to advance his voting rights agenda — quoted the president as calling Republicans’ delaying tactics a “threat.”
CNN host Don Lemon joined in to pressure Biden over his filibuster attitude
Biden’s ongoing battle to pass a milestone $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill has met fierce opposition from Republicans, who have dismissed it as a “spending surge.”
Biden previously indicated he may be open to ignoring the filibuster when Democrats again failed to win a super-majority vote to pass a bill strengthening voting rights, which ended in a 50-50 vote – 10 vote shy to overcome a Republican filibuster.
At Wednesday’s event, Biden admitted that the filibuster’s “abuse” was “overwhelming.”
But instead of putting an end to it, Biden suggested bringing back the strict standards of running a filibuster that were common when he was first elected nearly 50 years ago.
“If you were to filibuster, you had to stand on the floor and hold the floor,” Biden said. “There were significantly fewer filibusters back then – in the middle of the civil rights movement.”
Lemon asked Biden if he thought protecting the filibuster was more important than securing voting rights for historically disenfranchised Americans
Biden said he would be open to reforming the filibuster, citing the rigorous standards in place for the maneuver when he first took office decades ago
Lemon wondered if Biden thought protecting the filibuster was more important than protecting voting rights.
“This is important for people who are like me,” said the CNN host.
Biden suggested that the Senate shift its focus to passing bipartisan suffrage legislation along with Republicans who “know better than this.”
“What I don’t want to do now is get involved in the discussion about whether this is all about the filibuster,” he said.
A Democrat-led effort to pass infrastructure legislation failed in a test vote Wednesday when they failed to get Senate Republicans to join them — they ended up with the majority they would need to overcome a GOP filibuster
He continued, “I’m trying to bring the country together, and I don’t want the debate just about whether or not to have a filibuster.”
The president insisted he agreed with his former boss Barack Obama that the filibuster was a “Jim Crow-era relic” — but warned that trying to get rid of it would take time that other legislation could. are used.
“On the other hand, wouldn’t my friends like to debate the filibuster instead of passing the Recovery Act?” he said, before addressing the Democrats’ recent victory by passing a child tax credit.