President Joe Biden declined to say Thursday that he would support ending the 60-vote threshold required for Senate passage of most bills, even as the arcane maneuver continues to imperil Democrats’ legislative agenda.
Biden’s remarks came during his first news conference as president, in response to a question about how many votes should be required to break a filibuster: 60, or a simple majority of 51. He had not previously addressed that central issue, even while suggesting senators should be forced to talk at greater length to sustain their objections to legislation.
“If we could end it with 51, we would have no problem,” Biden said, allowing that “it’s going to be hard to get a parliamentary ruling that allows 50 votes to end the filibuster, the existence of a filibuster.”
“But it’s not my expertise in what the parliamentary rules and how to get there are,” Biden continued. He spent nearly four decades as a Delaware Democratic senator before becoming vice president and now commander-in-chief.
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