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Thu Jan 21, 2021, 01:36 PM

Joe Biden May Have Only Two Years To Get Things Done [View all]

In the Senate in recent decades, the filibuster has morphed from the long-winded speeches portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” into a silent but lethal tool that lets any one senator raise the threshold for passing bills from a simple majority (where the framers set it) to a supermajority of 60 votes.

The harsh reality is that when the dust settles on the chaos and violence that marked the end of the Trump presidency, Republican senators will have the same powerful incentives to deny Mr. Biden the 10 or so votes he will need, in addition to all 50 Democrats, to pass most bills in the Senate.

With Republicans needing just a handful of seats to take back majorities in the House and Senate, they will seek to make Democrats look feckless and ride voter discontent to gains in the 2022 midterms. In all but three times since 1914, the party that won the White House — in this case, the Democrats — loses House seats in the midterms. The next two years may be Mr. Biden’s best and perhaps only window to pass his agenda.

He can choose to avoid this fate, all while restoring the institution he spent 36 years in and empowering moderates. He and his fellow Senate Democrats can choose to reform the filibuster.



Interesting history of the filibuster & how it became Standard Operating Procedure.

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