President Biden calls for reform of the filibuster

Brooke Saaty, Editor in Chief

According to the website for the United State’s Senate, a filibuster is an action that is used in Congress to extend a debate or delay the vote for a bill, resolution or amendment. This strategy was first introduced in 1873, with the first official rules on how to end a filibuster being created in 1917.

As 2022 begins off though, calls for a revision or even complete removal of the filibuster have spread. President Joe Biden himself has made several calls urging for a reform of the filibuster rules. As reported by the Washington Post, the calls came following the introduction of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. If passed, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would to give the federal government the power to review state voting laws with the goal of preventing discrimination. On the other hand, the Freedom to Vote Act would lead to the creation of national laws concerning voting by mail, early voting and other parts of the election process.

“But as an institutionalist, I believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills. Debate them, vote, let the majority prevail. And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this,” said President Biden, the National Public Radio reported.

Some congressmen and women, though, have expressed concern over the consequences of removing the filibuster. Some Republicans have gone as far as to point out that Democrats themselves have relied on the filibuster for protection when they were in the minority.

“Some good rule changes to make the place work better, but getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better,” said Senator Joe Manchin according to The New York Times.