Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Joe Biden’s speech in Georgia on Tuesday in which he called for the Senate to change filibuster rules to pass voting rights.
“How profoundly — profoundly — unpresidential,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Look, I’ve known, liked and personally respected Joe Biden for many years. I did not recognize the man at the podium yesterday. … The president’s rant, rant, yesterday was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office.”
“Yesterday, with the world’s largest megaphone, he invoked the literal Civil War and said we are on the doorstep of autocracy. Talked about domestic enemies. Rhetoric unbecoming of a president of the United States,” he added.
In his speech on Tuesday President Biden asked senators who oppose filibuster reform to decide which side they want to be on “Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis,” referencing the former U.S. president and the president of the Confederacy.
“At consequential moments in history, they present a choice,” Biden said in his speech. “Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”
Democrats are hoping to change the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation to advance, in order to pass election and voting legislation. Republicans have blocked three bills on the measure last year.
However, not every Democrat in the Senate supports the idea.
“We need some good rules changes to make the place work better. But getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better,” Manchin, a key Democratic holdout told reporters on Tuesday.