Biden sends mixed messages about the filibuster claiming it to be a ‘relic of the Jim Crow era’ but has also been fundamentally abused by lawmakers
- President Joe Biden appeared to be getting closer to ending the filibuster on Thursday, but sent mixed messages about it.
- When asked if he thinks the line is a ‘Jim Crow era relic’, he replied, ‘Yes’
- With just a vice-presidential majority in the Senate, Democrats are now trying to destroy the filibuster
- This would almost ensure that the Democrats could pass whatever legislation they wanted without any Republican backing
Joe Biden gave his biggest rebuke of the filibuster to date during his first press conference as president on Thursday, where he said the legislative process is a “ holdover from the Jim Crow era ” that has been fundamentally abused.
At the same event, the president also said it would benefit Congress if it continued to operate under current rules to get things done.
As for the filibuster, President Barack Obama said at John Lewis’s funeral that he believed the filibuster was a holdover from the Jim Crow era. Do you agree?’ CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins asked Biden during his briefing in the East Room Thursday afternoon.
“Yes,” he answered quickly.
“If not, why not get rid of it — if it’s a holdover from the Jim Crow era?” Collins insisted.
The president took a long pause and looked at his notes on the platform.
“Successful electoral politics in the art of the possible,” the president began. “Let’s figure out how to get this done and move towards significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first.”
‘It has been abused from the moment it emerged in an extreme way over the past 20 years. Let’s deal with the abuse first, ”he continued.
President Joe Biden appeared to be getting closer to the filibuster’s abolition on Thursday by calling it a ‘relic of the Jim Crow era’ – but he sent some mixed messages on the topic
With just a vice-presidential majority in the Senate, Democrats are now trying to ignore the filibuster to ensure they can get all legislation passed without Republican backing
Collins continued to push for a response to the president’s position on the filibuster.
“Sounds like you’re getting closer to eliminating the filibuster, isn’t that right?” she asked.
“I answered your question,” he said.
Biden’s nationally televised press appearance on Day 65 of his presidency was the first time he held a formal question-and-answer session with reporters since taking office.
It is the longest a president has waited to hold a post-inauguration press conference in nearly 100 years.
Earlier in the briefing, Seung Min Kim, White House correspondent at the White House, asked Biden about the logistics of the filibuster.
“Do you think it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster on legislation or 51?” Kim asked.
“If we could end it at 51, we wouldn’t have a problem,” Biden threw away the narrow Senate majority of the Democrats.
Here, Biden presented some mixed messages about his thoughts on the filibuster, almost seeming to defend its existence and advocating making changes rather than throwing it out entirely.
“ You will have to – the existing rules – it will be difficult to get a parliamentary ruling allowing 50 votes to end the filibuster – the existence of a filibuster, ” the president rumbled in an apparition full of stumbles and blunders .
“But it’s not my expertise in what parliamentary rules are and how to get there,” said Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate representing Delaware.
He added, “Our preoccupation with the filibuster is perfectly legitimate, but in the meantime, we can do a lot while talking about what to do with the filibuster.”
Democrats have pushed for the filibuster to be cut now that they have a majority in the House, Senate and White House.
Biden held his first press conference since taking office 65 days ago on Thursday – the longest a new president has waited to hold their first question-and-answer session in nearly 100 years
As it stands, Republicans can pass legislation they strongly oppose and enforce reconciliation, requiring 60 votes.
With the Senate split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaker, Democrats don’t want to get to the point where they need more than 51 votes after a filibuster.
During Thursday’s briefing, Biden made another allusion to Jim Crow when he said that the GOP trying to tighten up the voting laws, “Make Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”