Many Democrats outside of the radical, progressive faction in Congress, have remained hesitant to make any moves with regard to nuking the Senate filibuster rule, as they’re well aware of what it could mean to not have that option if — or hopefully when — they find themselves the minority party in the upper chamber.
President Joe Biden was mostly silent on the issue until recently, when he hinted recently that he’s open to the idea of taking action to quash the filibuster rule if it means passing a stalled voting acts bill, Townhall reports.
“If the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster,” Biden said Thursday to an ABC News reporter.
“Whatever it takes. Change the Senate rules…” Biden added.
What’s it mean?
Aside from Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) moderate leanings on most issues, the Senate filibuster rule is the only shield that can be deployed by Republicans in the upper chamber against the Democrats’ legislative agenda, making it to where 60 votes are required to pass most bills.
Without the rule, the threshold would be lowered to 50 votes, which would give Senate Democrats a free pass to push as much radical, progressive legislation as possible on America.
While the voting rights legislation that passed the House but stalled in the Senate earlier this year was relegated to the backburner as other bills were voted on, Senate Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are still bent on passing the act, which would hand local election control over to the federal level.
“The Senate will consider voting rights legislation, as early as the first week back,” Schumer announced.
He added: “If Senate Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster and prevent the body from considering this bill, the Senate will then consider changes to any rules which prevent us from debating and reaching final conclusion on important legislation.”
Manchin, the last hope
Thanks to Manchin, and to some degree, Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the filibuster rule, so far, has been preserved. Manchin is clearly the only Democrat willing to admit that the party might need the benefits of the rule after the 2022 midterms when Republicans are expected to rack up election victories across the country.
“If you can make the Senate work better, the rules are something we’ve changed over the years; 232 years, there’s been rule changes. But there’s never been a change with the filibuster, the rights of the minority,” Manchin recently told Fox News.
If Biden issues further signals that he’s ready to eliminate the filibuster rule, it could energize his congressional allies to take action. If that were to happen before 2022, America could be in for another extremely rude awakening.