For close to 150 years, the U.S. Senate has wrestled with ideas on how to prevent endless debate on the Senate floor, by the minority party, which is trying to prevent a bill from being voted on.
Under original Senate rules, cutting off debate required a motion that passed with a simple majority. But In 1806, Vice President Aaron Burr argued that the rule was redundant, so the Senate stopped using the motion.
This change inadvertently gave senators the right to unlimited debate, meaning that they could indefinitely delay a bill without supermajority support from ever getting to a vote. This tactic is what we now know as a filibuster.
In 1917, the Senate passed Rule XXII, or the cloture rule, which made it possible to break a filibuster with a two-thirds majority. In 1975, the Senate reduced the requirement to 60 votes, which has effectively become the minimum needed to pass a law, still in force today.
There have been some controversial exceptions, carve-outs, to the filibuster rule.
In 2013, under Majority Leader Harry Reed’s direction, the Democrats changed the Senate rules to enable the confirmation of executive branch positions, including the cabinet, and of non–Supreme Court judicial nominees with a simple majority.
Four years later, Senate Republicans expanded the change to include Supreme Court appointments. Both changes invoked what is known as the nuclear option, or an override of a rule to overcome obstruction by the minority.
This move by the Democrats is the reason there is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court today.
On Thursday, President Biden demanded another “carve-out, supporting the idea that Congress ends the filibuster to pass legislation for protecting a national right to abortion.
Biden made the announcement during a press conference at a NATO summit in Spain. Biden originally supported keeping the Senate filibuster when he entered office.
Reporters pressed Biden on what executive action he may take to secure abortion access nationally following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last week. Biden responded that the only solution is to codify Roe in Congress.
The POTUS Twitter account follow up with:
We have to codify Roe v. Wade into law.
And as I said this morning: If the filibuster gets in the way, then we need to make an exception to get it done.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 30, 2022
Fox News quotes Biden as saying when making that point:
“The foremost thing we should do is make it clear how outrageous this decision was.I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure that Congress votes to do that.”
“Make sure that Congress votes to do that” suggests that he would be in favor of getting rid of the filibuster so that a vote on the issue would have to take place, something that Biden made clear he was in favor of near-immediately, saying:
“And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we should require an exception to the filibuster for this action.”
This statement was a major escalation from Biden’s Friday speech on abortion, in which he called for legislative action to codify Roe v. Wade but refrained from calling for an end, or at least exception, to the filibuster, saying:
“This is a sad day for the country, in my view, but it doesn’t mean the fight is over.”
“Let me be very clear and unambiguous: The only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose and the balance that existed is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law.”
The only thing that is standing in the way of King Biden’s wish is 2 fellow Democrats.
So far Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have opposed efforts to throw out the filibuster throughout Biden’s administration. Manchin has reiterated his support for the rule even after the end of Roe.
Conservative independent talk show host and owner of https://MAGABOOK.com. USMC Veteran fighting daily to preserve Faith - Family - Country values in the United States of America. Check out my podcast - https://www.spreaker.com/show/finish-the-race
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