President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would be open to changing the filibuster rule to pass voting rights legislation, CNN reports.
Biden said during a CNN town hall that Democrats are “going to have to move to the point where we fundamentally alter the filibuster.”
“That remains to be seen, exactly what that means, in terms of ‘fundamentally altering’ it, whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up,” Biden said.
“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?”
“And maybe more,” Biden replied.
But not yet:
But Biden also stressed that pushing to end the filibuster now could imperil his economic agenda.
“Here’s the deal,” he said. “If, in fact, I get myself into, at this moment, the debate on the filibuster, I lose three — at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation — the foreign policy side of the equation.”
But Biden called to change the filibuster rules.
“We have 10 times as many — more than that — times the filibuster has been used since 1978,” he said. “ It used to be you had to stand on the floor and exhaust everything you had, and when you gave up the floor and someone else sought the floor, they had to talk until they finished. You’re only allowed to do it a second time. After that, it’s over; you vote — somebody moves for the vote. I propose we bring that back now, immediately.”
Biden wants to focus on voting rights after economic package:
Biden suggested that his focus will shift to voting rights after Congress votes on his Build Back Better plan and the Senate infrastructure bill.
“What are we going to do about voting rights? It’s the greatest assault on voting rights in the history of the United States — for real — since the Civil War,“ he said. “When I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I thought I had done something really important. And I was able to get passed and extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years and get everyone on that committee, including the senator from South Carolina and others, to vote for it. I thought we had moved.”