Is Biden About to Flip Flop on Eliminating the Filibuster?

Posted: Oct 22, 2021 3:15 PM
Is Biden About to Flip Flop on Eliminating the Filibuster?

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden has long held the mainstream position that the filibuster is an essential U.S. Senate tool to protect the political minority. He repeatedly said this during his multi-decade tenure as a senator. 

"The Framers sought not to ensure simple majority rule, but to allow minority views—whether they are conservative, liberal, or moderate—to have an enduring role in the Senate in order to check the excesses of the majority. This system is now being tested in the extreme," Biden said on the Senate floor in 2005. "I believe the proposed course of action we are hearing about these days is one that has the potential to do more damage to this system than anything that has occurred since I have become a Senator. History will judge us harshly, in my view, if we eliminate over 200 years of precedent and procedure in this body and, I might add, doing it by breaking a second rule of the Senate, and that is changing the rules of the Senate by a mere majority vote." 

On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden said he was open to reforming the filibuster and argued its fate was dependent on Republicans. 

"Asked whether he supports getting rid of the filibuster, so the Senate could pass bills with a straight majority, Biden said: 'It’s going to depend on how obstreperous they become,' referring to Republicans," the New York Times reported in July 2020. "He noted that he has historically supported the filibuster and was optimistic he could find common ground with Republicans. 'But I think you’re going to just have to take a look at it,' he added." 

Now that Biden is having trouble governing and uniting his own party, it appears he may soon officially change his position in favor of elimination. 

During a CNN town hall Thursday night, Biden said he was open to eliminating the filibuster. 

During the briefing at the White House Friday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Biden's remarks. In July, Psaki said his position to keep the filibuster had not changed. 

Earlier this week, Democrats suffered another blow to their efforts to take over elections and permanently solidify political power. 

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