When pressed by CNN’s Don Lemon on why the filibuster is worth protecting, Biden said keeping the filibuster is not more important than protecting voting rights. He said that he believes his administration and Congress can pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act without axing the Senate rule — one Biden has agreed, as former President Barack Obama put it, is a “relic of the Jim Crow era.”
He said abolishing the rule would give Republicans in Congress an excuse to spend time debating the filibuster instead of passing his legislative agenda.
“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done. And there’s a lot at stake. The most important one is the right to vote,” Biden said. “Wouldn’t my friends on the other side love to have a debate about the filibuster instead of passing the recovery act?”
In recent months, more of the Senate’s 50 Democrats have expressed a willingness to abolish or modify the filibuster, as activists have continued to put pressure on the White House to budge. The president’s reluctance to shift has put him at odds with civil rights leaders, labor and social justice advocates, as well as a growing number of Democrats.