Biden: “I Came to the United States Senate 120 Years Ago”
President Joe Biden has stated that he first came to the United States Senate 120 years ago.
The President, 78, made the remark on Thursday during his first White House press conference, in which he referenced his support for filibuster reform, and spoke about a number of other topics including China, voting rights, North Korea, reelection, Afghanistan, the coronavirus pandemic, and immigration.
President Biden stated:
"With regard to the filibuster, I believe we should go back to the position of the filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago."
The filibuster, a political procedure in the United States, is where one or more members of Congress debate over a proposed piece of legislation, usually in the hope of delaying or preventing a vote on the proposal. According to Brookings.edu:
“Senators have two options when they seek to vote on a measure or motion. Most often, the majority leader (or another senator) seeks “unanimous consent,” asking if any of the 100 senators object to ending debate and moving to a vote. If no objection is heard, the Senate proceeds to a vote. If the majority leader can’t secure the consent of all 100 senators, the leader (or another senator) typically files a cloture motion, which then requires 60 votes to adopt. If fewer than 60 senators - a supermajority of the chamber - support cloture, that’s when we often say that a measure has been filibustered.”
Currently, a filibuster is being utilised against the Democrats’ controversial ‘H.R. 1’ bill, dubbed by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell as a Democrat “assault on elections” to “win elections in perpetuity." H.R. 1, styled by the Democrats as the ‘For the People Act’, is a comprehensive voting, elections, and ethics bill that was passed in the House of Representatives on the 3rd of March. If passed, the legislation will introduce automatic voter registration, same-day registration and voting without ID verification, no-excuse mail-in voting, and a variety of other reforms. McConnell stated that “we're down to two brave Democrats - Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona” who are “preserving the institution" of the filibuster, thereby preventing the bill from passing to the Senate.