UPDATED 8:20 PM PT – Thursday, March 25, 2021
Joe Biden reiterated Democrat talking points, blasting the Senate filibuster as a legislative tool rooted in racism.
“President Obama said he believed the filibuster was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Do you agree?” a reporter asked Biden.
“Yes,” he answered.
Pres. Biden says he agrees w ith Obama’s comment that the filibuster is “a relic of the Jim Crow era” and replies “let’s try to curb” its abuse when asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins “why not abolish it?”
— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) March 25, 2021
His thoughts on the matter came as the Senate grapples with reforming the filibuster, or scrapping it altogether. Many on the left have recently resorted to calling it a Jim Crow era measure, which Biden has now adopted as well.
While not expressly calling for the abolishment of the move, he is closer to killing it now more than ever.
“Let’s figure out how we can get this done and move the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule, first,” Biden stated. “It’s been abused from the time it came into being, by an extreme way in the last 20 years. Let’s deal with the abuse first.”
“It sounds like you’re moving closer to eliminating the filibuster? Is that correct?” a reporter asked.
“I answered your question,” Biden replied.
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shot down the claims of racism, saying it is part of the power grab effort to snuff out the minority’s voice when passing unpopular legislation.
“Actually historians do not agree. It has no racial history at all. None. So there’s no dispute among historians about that,” McConnell said. “If it were related to civil rights, why were the Democrats using the tool last year and the year before that, and the last six years. Why is it all of a sudden a civil rights issue when it wasn’t for them as recently as last year. Honestly with all due respect, that is nonsense.”
Biden’s remarks at the press conference contradicted his position on nixing the filibuster when he was a senator. He previously fought tooth and nail for the move, and didn’t say it was racist then.
“At its core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill, it is about compromise and moderation,” Biden previously stated. “That is why the founders put unlimited debate in. That is what it is about, engendering compromise and moderation.”
Some Democrats are seeking to reform the filibuster to push the For the People Act into law, which is a sweeping election reform bill that would give the federal government more control over state run elections.
Biden continued to play the race card, while criticizing local voting law reforms in swing states like Georgia and Arizona, when it’s well within the rights of those states to ensure election integrity.
“Are you worried that if you don’t manage to pass voting rights legislation, that your party is going to lose seats and possibly lose control of the House and the Senate in 2022?” the reporter asked Biden.
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick,” Biden said.
Biden also threatened to to use executive overreach if Republican-led state legislatures pass more election measures aimed at ensuring voter confidence.
“I’ll do everything in my power along with my friends in the House and Senate to keep that from becoming the law,” Biden stated.
Some Senate Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have vowed to work in a bipartisan manner to get things done in the upper chamber. However, it remains to be seen whether the filibuster will stay intact as the pressure builds on the White House and Senate.
As for election reform measures at the state level, there is not much Biden can do without facing GOP lawsuits to counter his executive overreach.