Politics Biden says eliminating the filibuster would 'throw the entire Congress into chaos' and 'nothing will get done'
Joe Biden has a change of heart regarding the filibuster ... again
Mark it down as another flip-flop: President Joe Biden came out against abolishing the legislative filibuster on Wednesday night after previously suggesting he would support leftist efforts to get rid of it. © Provided by Washington Examiner When asked whether the filibuster was his priority over voting access, Biden said during a televised townhall: “No, it’s not. There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the whole Congress into chaos, and nothing will get done.” That sounds like a pretty important reason, Joe!Biden is, of course, correct.
- Biden said nixing the filibuster would lead to "chaos" and "nothing could get done."
- Activists are pressing Biden to back eliminating the filibuster to pass voting rights protections.
- "What I don't want to do is get wrapped up right now in the argument of whether this is all about the filibuster," Biden said during a CNN town hall.
President Joe Bidento pass voting rights legislation in a Wednesday town hall with CNN's Don Lemon, saying that getting rid of the rule would lead to "chaos."
Biden's silence on filibuster strains Democrats' patience
President Biden gave an impassioned speech this week on democracy and protecting the right to vote, but Democratic strategists and activists say it's something he failed to mention - namely filibuster reform - that could cost him."This is really the first place that Biden risks losing the base," said one top Democratic strategist."It's no accident that it's the issue of voting rights. I think Black voters feel like 'we did the hard work and"This is really the first place that Biden risks losing the base," said one top Democratic strategist.
The current Senate filibuster rules require 60 votes to advance to debate and to pass most legislation, except some budget-related measures, like the American Rescue Plan, that can be passed by a simple majority with budget reconciliation.
Biden, who served in the upper chamber for 36 years, said that he believes the filibuster has been "abused," but that the alternative of getting rid of it could be worse.
"There's no reason to protect it other than you're going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done. And there's a lot at stake. The most important one is the right to vote," Biden said.
-The Recount (@therecount)
Biden to call for 'a new coalition' to defend voting rights
During his speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the president will say GOP election bills are "grounded in autocracy, undemocratic."And the president will call for a “new coalition” of advocates, activists, students, faith leaders, labor leaders, and business executives “to overcome this un-American trend and meet the moment” through “turnout and voter education.
So far in Biden's presidency, Republicans have filibustered legislation to create an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol insurrection and the For The People Act, or S1, Democrats' massive, sweeping voting rights and democracy reform legislation.
Congressional Democrats are looking next to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013 in the Shelby v. Holder case.
Voting rights advocates,on voting rights from the White House, have pushed Biden to back nixing the filibuster altogether or endorse a voting rights-specific carve-out.
"Protecting the filibuster, is that more important than protecting voting rights, especially for people who fought and died for that?"
The conservative constitutional case against the filibuster
Everyone knows the politics, but it’s important not to overlook the constitutional text. As the Brennan Center for Justice reported last year in The Case Against the Filibuster, "the filibuster did not become a rule or practice of the Senate until 129 years after the Constitution was ratified. Moreover, not only is the Constitution silent on the matter, but it prescribes supermajority votes only for very specific subjects, such as treaties, making clear that a simple majority is the expectation for other circumstances, including legislation.
"No, it's not. I want to see the United States Congress, the United States Senate pass S1 and S4, the John Lewis Act, get it to my desk so I can sign it," Biden replied.
"But here's the deal: what I also want to do is make sure we bring along not just all the Democrats, we bring along Republicans who I know better. They know better than this. And what I don't want to do is get wrapped up right now in the argument of whether this is all about the filibuster," he added.
Biden further said that he's "trying to bring the country together" and doesn't want "the debate to only be about we have a filibuster or exceptions to the filibuster or going back to how the filibuster had to be used before."
Despite Biden holding out hope that the John Lewis Voting Rights Act could receive bipartisan support, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is, so far, the only Republican in either chamber to support the measure.
Analysis: Texas obstruction vs. DC obstruction .
Majorities aren't enough in US politics.Majorities aren't enough in US politics.