President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he supports reverting back to the talking filibuster which requires a senator who wants to block legislation to hold the floor without taking a break.
Biden said the reform is necessary because we’re “getting to the point where democracy is having a hard time functioning.”
“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,” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “You had to stand up and command the floor; you had to keep talking.”
The Senate’s legislative filibuster rule, as it stands now, requires 60 senators to vote to end debate on a bill. Its used to block the passage of a number of popular legislation in the Senate because there is not enough support for the legislation from the party in the minority.
Two moderate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va) do not support nixing the filibuster completely but Manchin signaled that he may be open to reverting back to the talking filibuster.
President Biden’s comments came on the same day that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned against changing filibuster rules.
“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,” McConnell said, adding, “I want our colleagues to imagine a world where every single task, every one of them, requires a physical quorum.”