January 22, 2022

1 thought on “Biden to push Senate rule change in bid to pass voting-rights law

  1. Biden spoke in the Senate in 2005 against ending the filibuster. What changed? So did Chuck Schumer, who said it put the Senate “on the precipice” of a constitutional crisis, as “the checks and balances which have been at the core of this republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option.” Other leading Democrats also denounced prior moves to end the rule as destroying any hopes for political consensus. Barack Obama denounced the rule as a racist device back when he was a member in the Senate and condemned its elimination as an obvious effort to establish party control by shifting “the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet.” He added, “If the majority chooses to end the filibuster and if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only become worse.” Four years ago, 29 Democrats signed a letter along with dozens of their Republican colleagues that urged the Senate leadership to preserve the 60-vote requirement on most types of legislation. Not only did red-state Democrats sign that letter but progressives did too, including senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. And as the 2020 presidential race got underway, Democratic candidates competing for the party’s most liberal voters balked at ending the filibuster. “I will personally resist efforts to get rid of it,” Booker said. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was “not crazy about getting rid of the filibuster.” Only because they are in control now, and they do not want to lose it.

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