Biden Open to Eliminating Filibuster for Voting Rights and 'Maybe More' Issues


President Joe Biden says he is open to making changes to the filibuster after lawmakers pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and social spending package.

During a CNN town hall event on Thursday, Biden was asked, “Are you saying once you get this current agenda passed on spending on social programs that you would be open to fundamentally altering the filibuster? Or doing away with it?”

“I am open to fundamentally altering it,” Biden responded. However, he said it depends “exactly what that means in terms of fundamentally altering it.”

He continued, “There’s certain things that are just sacred rights. One’s the sacred obligation that we’re never going to renege on a debt. We have never ever reneged on a single debt.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked, “When it comes to voting rights, just so I’m clear though, you would entertain the notion of doing away with the filibuster on that one issue? Is that correct?”

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“And maybe more,” Biden responded.

Watch the video below:

Earlier in the event, Biden said, “If in fact, I get myself into, at this moment, the debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation.”

Should Democrats eliminate the filibuster?

The filibuster is a procedural hurdle used to delay or block most legislation and requires 60 votes to overcome.

The Senate is currently divided 50-50, which means Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster and advance legislation.

Congressional Democrats are negotiating a massive $3.5 trillion spending package and separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The Senate has already passed the infrastructure bill but has not taken up the spending package yet, which Democrats are hoping to use the budget reconciliation process to pass with just 51 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

However, if three Democrats defected — as Biden predicted would happen if there was a debate about making changes to the filibuster — the spending package would not have enough votes to pass the chamber.

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Biden’s comments come after Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ latest effort to pass legislation to overhaul voting and election laws.

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