President Joe Biden made a trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday to stump for changes to the longstanding Senate filibuster rule, which sets a 60-vote threshold for moving forward with most legislation in the lower chamber.
It soon became clear that the visit was for naught, however. As the Washington Examiner reports, Biden left the Capitol with still a handful of Democrat senators remaining unswayed on the issue of the filibuster, prompting an angry outburst from the president toward a group of reporters.
The filibuster lives on
Democrats are hoping to scrap the filibuster in large part so they’re able to push through a sweeping election reform package that has the support of no Republicans in Congress’ upper chamber.
And not even all Democrats are on board.
Biden’s agitation Thursday almost certainly stemmed from the fact that both Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — likely speaking on behalf of other silent Democratic colleagues — made it clear that they were opposed to making any changes to the filibuster rule.
“One thing for certain”
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins was the first to share video of Biden’s remarks to the press, noting that the president appeared “agitated leaving meeting with Senate Dems.”
Asked how things had gone, Biden said, “I hope we can get this done. The honest to God answer is: I don’t know whether we can get this done.”
He added: “But one thing for certain — one thing for certain: Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time. We missed this time. We missed this time.”
“I’m going to be fighting”
In a raised voice, Biden went on:
And the state legislative bodies continue to change the law not as to who can vote, but who gets to count the vote — count the vote. Count the vote! […] Who counts the vote? That’s what this is about. That’s what makes this so different than anything else we’ve ever done.
“I don’t know that we can get it done,” Biden said, “but I know one thing: As long as I have a breath in me, as long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moved.”
Biden is agitated leaving meeting with Senate Dems: “The honest to god answer is, I don’t know we can get this done…But I know one thing, as long as I have a breath in me…I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moved.” pic.twitter.com/SzbLGTUuag
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 13, 2022