(PresidentialInsider.com)- Democrats are having an awfully hard time getting anything done in the current state of affairs in Washington.
With only a technical majority in the Senate, the party almost always needs at least 10 Republican senators to support a bill for it to pass — and that’s only if all 50 Democratic senators vote in favor of it.
As a result, many Democratic leaders have been pushing to axe the filibuster in the Senate so that all proposed bills can pass with a simple majority. The fate of that is up in the air, though, as President Joe Biden has long said he wouldn’t support doing so.
Recently, though, the president has started to indicate he may be willing to change his mind. As he said recently:
“If 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 two voting bills in question that have passed through the House but not the Senate are the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The problem for Democrats, though, is that every Republican senator is opposed to those bills.
The GOP says they are an overstep of federal authority into state business, and they also would undermine the security of elections.
Democrats still want to press forward, though, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he would bring the bills to the floor for a vote in early January. He added he would also “consider changes to any rules” that might stand in the way of getting the bills passed.
In order to get rid of the filibuster, two-thirds of the Senate membership would have to support changing its Rule 22. That’s extremely unlikely to happen with the current breakdown in the upper chamber, though.
The other way they could do it is called the “nuclear option.” This would establish a new precedent in the Senate, and would only need a majority vote. It’s probably the only avenue liberals have to take.
As a senior legal fellow with the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, Thomas Jipping, said:
“Because Democrats don’t have the votes to change it honestly, which would mean changing the text of the rule, they’d have to use the nuclear option. So, you’d end up with rules that say one thing, but we pretend they say another.”
It wouldn’t be the right time this happened, but it could be quite dangerous for the future of Democrats. Right now, it’s looking more and more possible that the GOP will regain control of both the House and the Senate following the 2022 midterm elections.
If that were to happen — and the filibuster would be gone — Biden could simply forget about getting anything at all done in his last two years in office.
Then, if a Republican were to be elected president in 2024, Republicans would have complete control of Washington for at least a full two years.