Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he is open to ending the Senate filibuster, changing from his previous opposition to it.
“It’s going to depend on how obstreperous [Republicans] become,” the former vice president told The New York Times in a Monday call with reporters.
Biden added that he has supported the filibuster in the past and was optimistic that he could find common ground with his political opponents.
“But I think you’re going to just have to take a look at it,” he said.
The filibuster prevents Senate debate on legislation from ending and moving to a vote without 60 senators’ approval.
In a January interview with The Times, Biden said he opposed ending the filibuster.
“There are a number of areas where you can reach consensus that relate to things like cancer and health care and a whole range of things,” he said at the time.
“I think we can reach consensus on that and get it passed without changing the filibuster rule.”
He added that it would be something of a stretch “to amend the Constitution on judicial independence.”
“The important thing for our Democratic friends to remember is that you may not be in total control in the future,” McConnell told reporters late last month.
“Any time you start fiddling around with the rules of the Senate, I think you always need to put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes and just imagine what might happen when the wind shifts.”
In Monday’s call, Biden said he would also be comfortable pushing a more ambitious agenda than President Barack Obama.
“I do think we’ve reached a point, a real inflection in American history. And I don’t believe it’s unlike what Roosevelt was met with,” Biden said.
“I think we have an opportunity to make some really systemic change.”
Biden has called for police reforms, cuts in carbon emissions, an expansion of Medicare and higher taxes on the rich, among other programs, The Times reported.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told MSNBC last week that Biden’s agenda would make him “the most progressive president since FDR.”
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