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Biden Signals Doubts About Altering Filibuster Rules Just 2 Days After Fiery Speech Calling for Changes

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President Joe Biden does not sound too confident that Senate Democrats will change the legislative filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

After meeting with senators on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Biden spoke to reporters about his push to change the Senate rules.

“I hope we can get this done, the honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said.

He continued, “I hope we can get this done. But I’m not sure. But one thing for certain [is] like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time. We missed this time.”

“I don’t know whether we can get it done. But I know one thing, as long as I have breath in me, as long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting,” he added.

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During a fiery speech on Tuesday, Biden urged the Senate to change the filibuster rules, if necessary, to pass sweeping voting rights legislation.

“I believe that the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills, debate them, vote, let the majority prevail,” he said, adding, “And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”

Do you think Democrats will change the filibuster?

He continued, “I’m making it clear to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules, whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights.”

The filibuster is a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes for bills to pass the Senate. In a 50-50 Senate, that means at least 10 Republicans would need to join Democrats for legislation to pass the chamber.

Changing the filibuster would require all 50 Democrats to vote for the move and would let them advance legislation with just 51 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

But on Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said that while she supports voting rights legislation, she made clear she plans to stand firm in her opposition to making changes to the 60 vote threshold in the Senate, as IJR reported.

Without Sinema’s vote, Democrats would not have enough support to change the filibuster rules.

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