President Biden told ABC News Tuesday he supports reforming the Senate's filibuster rule to require lawmakers to talk on the Senate floor to delay a bill’s passage.
Why it matters: It's the first time the president has publicly supported action on the rule after the White House maintained for several weeks that he opposed eliminating the filibuster altogether.
Context: Progressives have pressured Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to do away with the chamber's long-standing 60-vote threshold to pass major legislation on issues including climate change and voting rights.
- Eliminating the filibuster would significantly limit the minority party's power, which uses the procedural rule to delay or block legislative action it opposes.
What they're saying: Asked if he would ultimately have to choose between preserving the filibuster and advancing his administration's agenda, Biden said: "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."
- "You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking," Biden said, adding that he would support making that a requirement.
- "That's what it was supposed to be. It's getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning,"
The big picture: Biden is advocating for the same reform as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who told "Axios on HBO" that he supports "a little bit of pain" for senators who want to filibuster and opposes a simple majority in the chamber.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) again warned Democrats on Tuesday that eliminating the legislative filibuster would "break the Senate" and turn the chamber into a "100-car pileup" where chaos reigns.