Biden Announces Approval For Amending Filibuster For Voting Rights

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During a recent interview with ABC, President Joe Biden indicated that he supported a change to the Senate’s filibuster rules in order to pass new protections for voting rights. As the rules currently stand, at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber have to agree before moving forward on most bills, meaning that most successful legislative initiatives have to be at least somewhat bipartisan in nature — but Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, aren’t exactly known for their bipartisanship. At present, new protections for voting rights could pass the Senate with a simple majority, but they can’t get past the filibuster hurdle.

As Biden put it:

‘If the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting it passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster.’

Watch below:

There are already exceptions to the Senate’s filibuster rules for items like certain budget-related initiatives — so why not for voting rights? As Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) recently put it on the floor of the Senate, voting rights are essential — they’re part of the foundation for the whole system in this country. The Georgia Senator commented as follows:

‘I have to tell you that the most important thing that we can do this Congress is to get voting rights done. Voting rights are preservative of all other rights. They lay the ground for all of the other debates. And so, to my Democratic colleagues, I say while it is deeply unfortunate, it is more than apparent that it has been left to us to handle alone the task of safeguarding our democracy. Sadly, many of our Republican friends have already cast their vote with voter suppression. And so, the judgment of history is upon us. Future generations will ask, ‘When the democracy was in a 911 state of emergency, what did you do to put the fire out?’ Did we rise to the moment? Or did we hide behind procedural rules?’

Changing the Senate’s filibuster rules, even just for a voting rights exception, would require convincing moderates like Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).