Report: Biden Wants Dems To Find GOP Support For Sweeping Voting Rights Bill Instead Of Gutting Filibuster

President Joe Biden speaks about lives lost to COVID-19 after the death toll passed 500,000, in the Cross Hall of the White House on February 22, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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March 23, 2021 9:21 a.m.

President Joe Biden argued during a private call with Senate Democrats that they ought to court Republicans for support for Democrats’ blockbuster voting rights bill instead of blowing up the filibuster, according to CNN.

Biden’s argument was a response to Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) imploring his colleagues to get rid of the filibuster, which requires most legislation to receive 60 votes in order to pass rather than a simple majority, for the sake of the sweeping voting reforms that would be established by the bill as Republicans across the country ramp up voter suppression efforts, particularly in Warnock’s home state.

The President, who has advocated for “talking” filibusters, reportedly pushed back against Warnock’s plea for his support for getting rid of the filibuster wholesale, saying that Democrats should keep trying to pressure GOP lawmakers, none of whom have offered support for the bill, instead.

All but one Democratic senator have signed onto the legislation. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who insists on keeping the filibuster, is the one holdout. He told CNN that “there are a lot of good things in the bill that we can work on” but “we have to do a bit of work.”

Manchin rejected Warnock’s argument that the only way the legislation could get passed is if the filibuster were abolished, saying “Well, we have our differences on that.”

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT), who are some of the few GOP senators who could provide swing votes to Democratic legislation, have said they do not support the bill.

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