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President Joe Biden said in an interview Thursday that he now, in contradiction of his past statements, supports essentially gutting the Senate filibuster to push through his so-called “voting rights” legislation.
He admitted as much after ABC News interviewer and supposed journalist David Muir asked him a leading question about whether he’s “prepared to support fundamental changes in the Senate rules to” push the legislation through Congress.
(Note that the mashup clip seen up top, released by ABC News as an apparent teaser, doesn’t appear to contain all of the president’s remarks. The full remarks are listed in a transcript published by ABC News.)
“You know many of your supporters believe in order to protect democracy in this country you’ve gotta protect voters’ rights. As we near the end of year one nothing’s been done. It’s been blocked by the filibuster. Are you prepared to support fundamental changes in the Senate rules to get this done?” Muir asked.
He isn’t the only supposed journalist who’s been seen asking questions or making statements befitting a left-wing activist.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 19, 2021
To be clear, the Democrats’ “voting rights” bill has nothing to do with voting rights. As previously documented, the so-called “For the People Act” (H.R. 1) would federalize America’s elections, make it easier to commit voter fraud and crack down on political speech. Last spring the editors at National Review described it as “a partisan assault on American democracy.”
Responding to Muir’s leading question, Biden said, “Yes.”
“What does that mean?” the ABC News interviewer then asked.
“That means whatever it takes,” the president said.
Muir then asked another leading question — specifically whether “whatever” includes making an exception — a “carveout,” as he called it — to the filibuster.
The idea is that Democrats would only gut the filibuster for this one bill. But that’s not how things work. Once gutted, a procedure such as the filibuster remains gutted.
“I don’t think we may have to go that far, but I would be if that’s — if it’s the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster,” the president replied, according to the transcript.
To be clear, the only way this piece of legislation would make it through the Senate would be via the gutting of the filibuster, because there isn’t a single Republican in the Senate who supports the bill, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Senate was designed to make it difficult to have radical change in the country unless there are huge majorities on one side or the other. The filibuster prevents extremism. Democrats want to eliminate it so they can fundamentally change the structure of America forever. pic.twitter.com/Z372KzlEqf
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) December 22, 2021
And so, yes, the president would have “to go that far.”
Continuing his answer, the president then reportedly claimed that 10 “bipartisan senators” are currently working on eliminating the filibuster.
“Right now, there are 10 bipartisan senators sitting down, including Joe Manchin, trying to change the Senate rules — which have been changed a number of times — change the Senate rules to accommodate being able to bring up and get passage of, up or down, of major pieces of legislation without requiring 60 votes,” he said.
This was flat-out false. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has repeatedly signaled that he opposes gutting the filibuster to push through any legislation, including the president’s so-called “voting rights” bill.
Moreover, zero Republicans support the bill, as previously noted, so there are no so-called “bipartisan senators” working together to eliminate the filibuster.
Muir, of course, did not challenge the president on any of his false statements. Critics, however, certainly have.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, for instance, penned a scathing op-ed zeroing in on the dubious idea of being able to make a filibuster “exception.”
“An ‘exception’ to the filibuster? This is like an engineer saying he merely wants to remove a section of the Hoover Dam,” board members wrote.
They also warned of “legislative whiplash,” and to prove their point, they cited the words of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s spokesperson. Like Manchin, Sinema has also made it clear she won’t support an elimination of the filibuster.
Spokesperson:Senator Sinema”continues to support the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, to protect the country from repeated radical reversals in federal policy which would cement uncertainty, deepen divisions, and further erode Americans’ confidence in our government.” Politico
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) December 16, 2021
“Her spokesman told Politico last week that any Democratic bill passed today by ducking the filibuster could be ‘rescinded in a few years and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law’ or ‘nationwide restrictions on vote-by-mail,'” according to the board.
And it would only be fair, board members argued, given the radicalism of the Democrats’ legislation.
“Their slimmed version of H.R.1 would force states to count mail votes that arrive a week late and without postmarks. Republicans see this as perilous to security and public trust, incongruent with principles of federalism, and probably unconstitutional,” they noted.
Ultimately, they argued, the elimination of the filibuster would create an endless loop, with America’s laws experiencing “a complete reversal, a yo-yo every four or eight years,” based on who controls Congress.
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