A senior Democratic senator indicated Sunday that he believed his party should consider scrapping the Senate’s filibuster rule if Republicans prove unwilling to compromise on legislation pursued by the Biden administration.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Overnight Health Care — Fauci: Lack of facts ‘likely’ cost lives in coronavirus fight | CDC changes COVID-19 vaccine guidance to allow rare mixing of Pfizer, Moderna shots | Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden’s agenda MORE (D-Ill.), the majority whip, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “of course” Democrats would consider changing the filibuster rule that requires most legislation to reach 60 votes to pass the chamber should the Senate be paralyzed by GOP efforts to oppose Biden’s agenda.
“The American people want us to take action, action on this pandemic, action on this economy and on a host of other issues, and if this filibuster has become so common in the Senate that we can’t act, that we just sit there helpless, shame on us. Of course we should consider a change in the rule under those circumstances,” said Durbin.
“But let’s see. Let’s see if we can initiate a real bipartisan dialogue and get something done. That’s the bottom line,” Durbin added.
His remarks came following Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE’s (D-N.Y.) rejection of a plan for sharing power submitted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack MORE (R-Ky.) this week over McConnell’s insistence that Democrats agree not to scrap the filibuster, which Schumer called “unacceptable.”
In order to change the rule, Democrats would require the support of every member of their caucus, including several members who have already indicated their opposition to doing so such as centrist West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden EPA asks Justice Dept. to pause defense of Trump-era rules | Company appeals rejection of Pebble Mine | Energy pick Granholm to get hearing Wednesday Nomination hearing for Biden Energy pick Granholm set for Wednesday Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (D).
Calls to end the filibuster rule among the progressive left and even members of House leadership have grown in recent weeks as Democrats have urged Biden to act quickly with legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.