Sen. Angus King Says He Is 'Very Reluctant' To Eliminate the Filibuster


Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, says he is “reluctant” to abolish the filibuster, which would let Democrats pass legislation with just 51 votes instead of 60.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, King was asked if he believes Republicans are negotiating in good faith on legislation and whether he supports eliminating the filibuster.

He said Democrats and Republicans have been negotiating in good faith on a bill for months that is designed to make the U.S. more competitive with China. However, he said, “I was thinking about that bill. If the bill had had Joe Biden’s name on it, we wouldn’t even be talking about it, I don’t think.”

The Senate is divided 50-50, which means Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to vote with them for most legislation to pass unless the filibuster is eliminated.

“I think the infrastructure bill is a good test because listen, there’s not a lot of policy there. This is just numbers. It’s helping the country, and we ought to be able to find a resolution on that. If we can’t, that spells trouble,” King said.

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Host Jake Tapper said that it sounds like the Maine senator is not willing to get rid of the filibuster.

“Not in general. I’m very reluctant about it. But if it comes down to voting rights and the rights of Americans to go to the polls and select their leaders versus the filibuster, I’ll choose democracy,” King said.

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Democrats would need all 50 of their senators to vote to eliminate the filibuster, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

However, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have previously expressed their opposition to the move.

And on Sunday, Manchin said in an op-ed that he would vote against a Democratic-crafted election reform bill. He added, “I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”

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