- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 16, 2021

President Biden said Tuesday he would support changing the Senate‘s filibuster rules to require a senator to hold the floor in order to block legislation from moving forward.

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster — you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Mr. Biden told ABC News. “You had to stand up and command the floor and you had to keep talking.”

Host George Stephanopoulos then asked if Mr. Biden is for bringing back the “talking filibuster.”



“I am. That’s what it was supposed to be,” the president said. “It’s almost getting to the point where democracy is having a hard time functioning.”

Mr. Biden, a veteran of the Senate for more than three decades, has repeatedly resisted calls from the left to tinker with the 60-vote filibuster threshold for most legislation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said Tuesday Mr. Biden preferred to leave the filibuster alone but that he was open to changes.

Liberal Democrats say they need to nuke the filibuster for good in order to get legislation on voting rights, climate change and other topics through what is currently a 50-50 split Senate.

At least two Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have said they don’t want to get rid of the filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky warned Tuesday that Republicans will come back just as hard next time they’re in the majority if Democrats nuke the rules.

“We wouldn’t just erase every liberal change that hurt the country. We’d strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies with zero input from the other side,” Mr. McConnell said.

“This pendulum would swing both ways — hard.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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