Biden says he’s open to eliminating filibuster to pass voting-rights ‘and maybe more’ issues

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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Thursday he is ready to support the elimination of the Senate filibuster to pass voting-rights legislation and other bills that Republicans have blocked.

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“We have to get to the point where we basically replace the filibuster,” Biden said Thursday during a 90-minute televised CNN town hall.

His remarks came a day after Senate Republicans, for the third time this year, used a filibuster to block voting reform legislation that seeks to reverse restrictions adopted by GOP-led state legislatures since the 2020 election. Is.

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Town Hall host CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the president if he would entertain the notion of getting rid of filibuster over voting rights as a potential issue.

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“And probably more,” Biden said, applauding the crowd.

Biden has stopped short of supporting the abolition of the filibuster, a political party not in power, which requires 60 votes to pass the law, instead of a simple majority. Biden has instead talked about bringing back “talking filibuster,” the Senate’s lifetime rule that requires senators to continuously talk on the floor in order to execute a filibuster.

Earlier this month Biden said it was a “real possibility” that the Senate could revise its filibuster rules to raise the debt limit, which Republicans have said Democrats would have to pass alone.

Civil rights leaders and progressive activists have increasingly pushed Biden and Senate Democrats to overhaul the filibuster to pass federal voting-rights legislation to counter a wave of Republican-led state-level voting restrictions. But two moderate Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, have said they oppose the filibuster changes.

Biden: Fight for voting rights ‘far from over’ a day after third bill failed in Senate

However, Biden on Thursday cited a major reason why he might eventually back down from blowing up the filibuster.

The president said he would lose “right now three votes” for his multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better Package if he supported a carving out of a filibuster for voting-rights legislation, which he is negotiating with Senate Democrats. are doing. Biden is seeking to pass the plan through a legislative process called budget reconciliation, which would require the support of all 50 senators to pass an equally divided Senate.

Reach out to Joy Garrison @joeygarrison.

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