There’s a renewed push from the progressive wing of the Democratic party to do away with the legislative filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate, as it would allow Democrats to easily push through essentially any bill they want.
According to Breitbart, the idea of ending the filibuster — which is the only saving grace for the GOP at the moment — is something that President Joe Biden is unsurprisingly open to, with the White House saying this week that the president is “open to hearing ideas” on how to scrap the rule.
That take on the matter is a far cry from Biden’s previous stance on the issue when he was still a senator, as he faithfully defended the filibuster rule as recently as 2005, claiming at the time that he believed it was a tool of “compromise and moderation.”
Then-SEN. BIDEN (5/23/2005): “At its core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill, it is about compromise and moderation. That is why the Founders put unlimited debate in. That is what it is about, engendering compromise and moderation.” pic.twitter.com/AnmfRsaKpk
— Senate Republican Communications Center (@SRCC) January 25, 2021
During Biden’s trip to Pennsylvania to promote his recently-passed, $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” White House press secretary told reporters that while the president is open to the idea of doing away with the filibuster, she clarified that it’s not something he has the power to do.
“This is, of course, a Senate rule,” Psaki told reporters. “It’s not a law that he would change or sign into law. It’s a Senate rule.”
The issue has become heated in recent weeks, with many Democrats pushing to end the filibuster, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who said the GOP are using the rule to block legislation proposed by Democrats, even going as far as saying that the rule makes a “mockery of American Democracy.”
Not surprisingly, as recent as 2018, when Durbin was in the minority party in the Senate and the same debate was taking place from the other side, Durbin was against nixing the filibuster, saying it would be the “end of the Senate.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a dire warning this week warning his colleagues that if Democrats utilize the nuclear option to scrap the filibuster, it would create a “scorched-Earth” scenario in the upper chamber.