Biden Leaves Open Possibility of Ending Senate Filibuster


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.

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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.”

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Democrats changing the filibuster rule would be a serious mistake, according to The Hill.

“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.

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“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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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith