Biden Voices Support For Changing The Filibuster For The First Time
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, President Joe Biden said he was open to changing the procedure for the Senate filibuster. The modern Senate filibuster no longer requires senators to actually speak non-stop. Current procedures say that as long as a senator indicated an intent to filibuster, a bill needs 60 votes in order to pass. Biden said he would be interested in restoring the speaking requirement for filibusters.
“You’ve got to work for the filibuster,” Biden told Stephanopoulos.
“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster,” Biden said on Tuesday evening. “You have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days. … You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking.”
A day before Biden’s remarks, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) mirrored the president in a Senate floor speech saying, “I’ve long been open to changing the Senate rules to restore the standing filibuster. If a senator insists on blocking the will of the Senate, he should at least pay the minimal price of being present, no more phoning it in.”
Durbin declared that the filibuster is “making a mockery of American democracy.”
Because of the Senate’s current rules, the 50-50 split Senate would need to convince 60 members to vote in favor of filibuster reform. Democrats would need to sway a substantial number of Republicans. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has loudly stated he will never vote to eliminate the filibuster, but would be open to reforming it.
“I want to make it very clear to everybody: There’s no way that I would vote to prevent the minority from having input into the process in the Senate. That means protecting the filibuster,” Manchin said in a statement last week.