Biden tells ABC News he supports filibuster change in spite of Mitch McConnell’s ‘scorched earth’ threat

President Joe Biden supports a Democratic effort to change the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate, a move that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said would “break” the august upper chamber.

“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,” the president said during an interview Tuesday with ABC News. “You had to stand up and command the floor, and you had to keep talking.”

Regurgitating the prescribed talking points, the president added, “It’s getting to the point where, you know, democracy is having a hard time functioning.”

Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate, which is evenly split 50-50, had reportedly been reluctant to alter the Senate procedure that requires a three-fifths majority (60 votes) to advance most bills.

A rules change would essentially allow Democrats to steamroll legislation through, much like Speaker Nancy Pelosi does in the House of Representatives. At the top of their list would be Democrats’ radical voter rights bill that would likely assure party dominance in national elections for years to come.

Democrats have talked about eliminating the filibuster, but don’t have the votes to make it happen, with two members of their own caucus, Sens. Joe Manchin, W. Va.,  Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., not supporting the action.

On Monday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said the filibuster, which has been around since 1837, has turned the Senate into “one of the world’s most ineffectual bodies,” as he called for a a change in the rules that would require the minority party to hold the floor.

“If your principles are that important, stand up for them, speak your mind, hold the floor, and show your resolve.”

McConnell rose to the Senate floor on Tuesday and warned the opposition.

“Some Democrats believe this would be a tidy tradeoff if they could just break the rules on a razor-thin majority,” he said. “That’s not what would happen. So let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues. Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, can even begin to imagine what a completely scorched-earth Senate would look like.”

“Everything Senate Democrats did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama would be child’s play compared to the disaster the Democrats would create for their own priorities if — if — they break the Senate,” McConnell added.

In 2013, when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “broke” the rules — aka the nuclear option — to allow lower court and Cabinet nominees to be confirmed with a simple majority, McConnell warned Democrats.

“You will rue the day,” McConnell said. “You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

His words came back to haunt Democrats as McConnell set the Supreme Court for a generation.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity called the Democrat effort to target the filibuster “the single largest biggest power grab in modern American political history.”

 

Responding to Biden’s interview, Hannity said there is a “a full court press to abolish the legislative filibuster in the United States Senate.”

What’s more, he said that Manchin may be “beginning to buckle” under pressure from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“According to the top Democrats, we are now hearing tonight that the filibuster is incredibly important when Republicans are in power, but now the Democrats are in charge and it must be abolished and abolished immediately so they can just pass anything and everything they want and ram it down the country’s throat,” Hannity said.

He stressed that the Democratic Party is now filled with “the most radical far left individuals of any major political party in modern history.”

“Their only real principle is power over everything. Over the Constitution, over the bill of rights, over the rule of law, over basic fairness and justice. They want one party rule. They want it in perpetuity forever and ever,” Hannity said.

The Fox News host detailed a three part plan by the party to achieve this goal.

The first step is kill the filibuster, or render it ineffective, the second is passing HR 1, which is the voting rights bill that effectively takes control of elections away from the states, as prescribed in the Constitution, and will make what the nation saw in 2020 the norm, and the third is packing the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hannity also noted that Democrats want to make D.C. and Puerto Rico states. A move that all but assures 4 additional Democratic senators.

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Tom Tillison

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