President Biden said for the first time that he is in favor of a return to the requirement that opponents speak up when breaking laws Senator Mitch McConnell promised a “scorched earth” response

For all 99 of my colleagues, let me be very clear: no one serving in this chamber can even begin, imagine what a completely scorched Senate would look like, neither of us have a minute in a Senate Even the most basic aspects of our colleagues’ agenda, the most mundane tasks of the Biden Presidency, would actually be difficult – harder, not easier, Perhaps the majority would come next under the other rules Perhaps rule 22 would be just the first domino of many until the Senate ceased to differ from the House in any way This chaos wouldn’t open an express lane for liberal change It wouldn’t open an expressway for the Biden Presidency to get into the history books The Senate would be more like a 100 – Pile of cars – nothing moves

WASHINGTON – The Senate filibuster battle escalated sharply on Tuesday when President Biden first put his emphasis on changing the rules, despite Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell threatening tough reprisals if the Democrats did so Procedures should weaken tactics

In an interview with ABC News, Mr. Biden gave his most direct approval to date of the filibuster revision, saying he was in favor of a return to what is known as the speaking filibuster: the requirement that opponents of the legislation take the floor and speak out against it

“I don’t think you need to eliminate the filibuster You have to do it like it used to be when I was in the Senate for the first time, “said the president.” You had to get up and control the floor, and you had to keep talking. The comments were a significant departure for Mr Biden, a 36- year-old Senate veteran who has often been described by aides as reluctant to change Senate proceedings

“It comes to a point where democracy is having a hard time working,” he added

Currently, Senators only need to register their objections to the legislation to force supporters to cast 60 votes to break the filibuster that has become an almost daily part of Senate life Opponents’ demand to speak, would burden them more and make it theoretically more difficult for them to maintain their opposition

Mr Biden’s comments came when Mr. McConnell issued his stern warning and when the President’s allies on Capitol Hill began building a public case for eliminating the tactic

According to Senator Richard J Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, called for changes to reduce his power, Mr. McConnell of Kentucky bluntly promised a “scorched earth” response and promised to bring the Senate to a standstill and Mr. Biden’s agenda if the Democrats took that move

“Everything the Democratic Senate did to Presidents Bush and Trump, everything the Republican Senate did to President Obama would be a breeze compared to the disaster Democrats would create for their own priorities if they did Would break the Senate”Mr. McConnell said

He was referring to the prospect that Democrats could resort to a move known as a “nuclear option” by using their majority status to force a change in Senate rules that would allow lawmakers to block action against a bill unless proponents can muster 60 votes to move forward.This would effectively destroy the filibuster and allow the majority party – currently the Democrats – to build muscle on its own by any measure

Progressives have advocated such a change, to make Mr Biden want his agenda centered on Republican disability, and a growing number of Democrats are openly considering it Biden’s $ 19 trillion stimulus measures pushed Democrats through a special budget process without a single Senate vote from Republicans to deliver laws that have so far been well received by the public and give Democrats a taste of the possibilities of a post-filibuster world gave

My aim is to slow down the Democrats and get the White House attention McConnell insisted that Republicans would tie the Senate in knots in retaliation if they dared to take the step in his statement after Mr Durbin , a respected veteran of the institution, had said Monday it was time to stop allowing the minority party to routinely block legislation by requiring a three-fifths majority to push most of the bills forward. It was the most explicit call from a Democratic to date Leader to take action

Mr Durbin noted that it was Mr. McConnell, who institutionalized the use of the filibuster, which historically had rarely been used before the Kentuckian took command, Mr Durbin said the procedural weapon was a particularly painful point for him as it had prevented Democrats from passing the so-called Dream Act for two decades enacted a popular bipartisan bill that he wrote that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants to the United States as children.Although it has a majority support, it could never reach the 60-vote threshold

“I took it to the Senate on five different occasions, and the filibuster stopped it on five different occasions,” said Mr Said Durbin on Tuesday

In his speech on Monday, Mr Durbin argued that the burden should be shifted to those who oppose a particular bill in order to maintain a filibuster, rather than those who put forward 60 votes to move it forward, a view similar to that by Mr. Biden Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and a leading opponent of the party against the filibuster end, also said he would have the idea of ​​calling for speaking filibusters

Democrats say they are not yet ready to push an attempt to revise the filibuster rules and that they are also lacking votes in their own party to do so at the moment, activists are urging them to stimulate by following the same strategy they used in 2013 before using the nuclear option to effectively abolish filibusters against candidates from the executive and judicial branches

That year, Nevada’s Harry Reid, then the Senate Majority Leader, ran a series of three highly respected candidates for justice in a prestigious appeals court to show that Republicans would block candidates for the Obama administration, no matter how qualified they were, the Democrats then repeatedly put the candidates to the vote and did not stall the Republican filibusters That process eventually convinced enough senators in their ranks that they had no choice but to lower the 60-vote threshold for candidates to prevent the Obama administration from rejecting its right to appoint judges

Proponents of a filibuster change say Democrats could now do the same with progressive legislation that is supported by a majority that includes a voting measure now making its way through the Senate, immigration laws, a gun safety law, a gay- and transgender rights, a union-friendly organizing measure and possibly a large-scale public works measure The House has pushed through many of the measures against unanimous or near solid Republican opposition in recent weeks The dream law is to be put to the vote on Thursday

“We need to create a record that can be submitted immediately and will fail on the filibuster,” said Adam Jentleson, a former top aide to Mr. Reid during the 2013 showdown who wrote a new book attacking the filibuster, arguing that it destroyed the Senate and hampered public policy that has widespread national support

Senators seem increasingly responsive to appeals to end the filibuster as it exists now as they look at the possibility of months of republican opposition to their agenda

“I think people just did it,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, who chairs the rules committee, of the blocking tactic she had advocated in the past. “I don’t think we’re going by one outdated Senate rule should undermine the very foundation of our democracy and prevent us from making progress””

Ms. Klobuchar intends to hold a hearing next week on the broad voting bill already passed by parliament, and she acknowledged that this will likely be “an important test for the filibuster”

In his comments, Mr McConnell has threatened that Republicans would turn the rules against Democrats and try to make it virtually impossible to do anything in the Senate if they continued with the change Chamber operates by arcane rules that are often circumvented by so-called unanimous consent that no Senator objects to.If the Democrats rushed forward to core the filibuster, the Republicans would wither and deny even the most mundane matters Effectively bring the Senate to a standstill

“Let me be very clear about this for all 99 of my colleagues,” said Mr McConnell said, “No one serving in this chamber can imagine what a completely scorched earth Senate would look like – none. None of us served a minute in a Senate that was completely exempt from comity, and this is an institution which needs unanimous approval to turn the light on before noon ”

Mr McConnell, who found he had defied aggressive demands from President Donald J Trump, who wanted to get rid of the filibuster and thwart the Republicans’ agenda, said its elimination would mean a transformative change of government and well beyond what voters were voting for the election of Mr. Biden and the equally divided Senate intended

“Does anyone really believe that the American people voted for a whole new system of government by electing Joe Biden to the White House and a 50:50 Senate?” he asked “There was no mandate from the American people to completely transform America in November 3”

Ms. Klobuchar disagreed with this assessment and said that the Americans had voted for a new approach and that it might be necessary to drop the filibuster to achieve this

“You voted for someone who is more moderate for the president but for someone who will do great things,” she said. “You voted for change”

Filibuster

World News – USA – Biden advocates changes to filibuster rules

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/us/politics/mcconnell-filibuster-senate.html