One thing currently stands in the way of the Biden administration’s plans to implement its major policy goals on the economy, health care, rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and other key issues: Use of the filibuster by Senate Republicans, which could grind the upper chamber of Congress to a screeching halt before anything can be accomplished other than passage of the COVID-19 relief package.
But according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Democrats have some big changes planned when it comes to allowing their Republican colleagues to talk legislation to death.
During an appearance on MSNBC Monday evening, Warren told host Joy Reid:
“Our problem is not just a $15 an hour minimum wage. Our problem is the filibuster, because it blocks us on everything that doesn’t fit through – everyone had to learn the word last weekend – reconciliation, right? So, we really want to make changes to protect the vote, we really want to make changes on gun safety, we really want to make changes on immigration, we really want to make changes on child care, we have got to deal with the filibuster. Here’s the good news: Democrats know that. The discussions are now going on, on our side, about what we can do. Now, you know where I am and where I’ve been for a long time. We just need to pitch the thing out. It was born of racism and a way to try to keep the south happy, the southern senators, by giving them extraordinary power to be able to block any civil rights legislation or any anti-lynching legislation. And that’s what it was used for right up until the mid-1960s.”
What can be done, especially since a couple of Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin (WV) and Krysten Sinema (AZ) — have made it clear they won’t vote to eliminate the filibuster entirely? Warren didn’t show all her cards, but what she did say suggests that there a big changes afoot when it comes to the filibuster:
“And now, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have resuscitated it with a vengeance, first to use it against President Obama and have indicated they’re going to use it against President Biden. That means it is on us to stop this. We’re in Washington to fulfill our promises to the American people, to make this government work for them, not to give Mitch McConnell a veto. So stay tuned. You know where I am in this fight. And nobody is giving up at this point.”
“We’re in Washington to fulfill our promises to the American people … not to give Mitch McConnell a veto,” said Elizabeth Warren, calling for the end of the filibuster. pic.twitter.com/8FY835oHC8
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 16, 2021
Warren’s remarks come just days after Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) noted that Senate Democrats are indeed working to curb the use of the filibuster:
“When you hear even Joe Manchin say that maybe we should do filibuster reform that requires that anybody who’s against a measure to come to the floor and have to talk all night and all day, if possible, that is an opening on Joe Manchin’s part for filibuster reform.
“It’s very much developing.”
If Warren and Hirono are right, Biden’s progressive agenda could become reality in the near future.
Featured Image Via Screenshot