Joe Biden Threatens Change of Senate Filibuster Rules in Debt Standoff

US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters on the South Lawn upon return to the White House in Washington, DC on October 5, 2021. Biden returned to Washington after visiting Michigan. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden floated the proposal Tuesday of getting rid of the filibuster rules in the Senate to raise the debt limit.

“Oh, I think that’s a real possibility,” Biden replied when asked by reporters if he would consider the idea to prevent the country from defaulting on the nation’s debt.

The president commented shortly as he returned to the White House from Michigan, where he campaigned for his multitrillion-dollar entitlement spending agenda.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling, demanding that Democrats raise the debt limit by themselves using budget reconciliation.

The Associated Press

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with reporters before a key test vote on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that would overhaul the election system and voting rights, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The bill is a top priority for Democrats seeking to ensure access to the polls and mail in ballots, but it is opposed by Republicans as a federal overreach. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

But some Democrats would like to see a simpler solution, ending the filibuster rules to pass it in the Senate with a simple majority and without the complications of budget reconciliation.

The filibuster rules in the Senate, requiring a 60 vote majority to advance legislation, have frustrated Biden and Democrats from moving forward on issues critical to their base — nationalizing voting rights laws, gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and even Biden’s entitlement spending agenda.

Biden’s threat to end the filibuster rule, however, requires support of all 50 Democrat senators currently in office.

Both Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have stated their commitment to preserving the filibuster, frustrating leftist activists.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., center, joined from left by, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., speaks to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., center, joined from left by, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., speaks to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Democrats have until October 18 to raise the debt limit, but they continue pressuring Republicans to drop their unified opposition.

“If Republicans would just get out of the damn way, we could get this all done,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

McConnell insists that Schumer and his 50-seat majority act on their own.

“They’ve had plenty of time to execute the debt ceiling increase and have chosen not to do it,” he said.

Biden indicated Tuesday that he believed Republicans would change their minds and support raising the debt ceiling before the deadline.

“I don’t think they’re going to end up being that irresponsible,” he said. “I can’t believe it.”

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