“It’s being abused in a gigantic way,” Mr. Biden said at the first formal press conference since taking office.
He said people used to have to talk on the floor until they collapsed in order to block action.
“I strongly support moving in that direction, in addition to having an open mind about dealing with certain things that are fundamental to the functioning of our democracy, like the right to vote,” he said.
The president said he wants to get things done.
“We are going to get a lot done, and if we have to, if there is complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster then we will have to go beyond what I’m talking about,” he said.
Mr. Biden said he agreed with former President Barack Obama’s description of the filibuster as a relic of the Jim Crow era.
“Successful electoral politics is the art of the possible,” the president said when asked why not simply abolish it, given that description. “Let’s figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first.”
Mr. Biden punted on whether he thinks it should take 60 votes or 51 votes to end a filibuster on most legislation.
The Senate is currently divided 50-50 between the two parties. It takes 60 votes to thwart a filibuster for most legislation.
Liberals are ramping up their calls to abolish the filibuster so congressional Democrats can pass legislation on voting rights, climate change and gun control with a simple majority.
Democrats have effective control of the Senate thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
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