President Joe Biden is unlikely to ask Democrats to do away with the Senate filibuster rule, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The New York Times over the weekend.
“Knowing Joe Biden the way I do, he will be very patient and try to continue how the Senate used to be,” the Nevada Democrat said. “I am not particularly optimistic” that he will ask Democrats to get rid of the filibuster and make it easier for the party to pass the president’s legislation through Congress.
Reid stressed that Biden has a preference towards following institutional precedent, and this instinct would likely win out over demands from both progressives and Democratic leaders in the House to change the rule.
Reid’s comments come as the filibuster issue has been a bone of contention in the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to reach a power-sharing arrangement, with the upper chamber at a 50-50 split, according to The Hill.
McConnell has proposed that Democrats agree not to change the filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation. Schumer has called McConnell’s demand “unacceptable.”
Democrats would require the backing of every member of their caucus in order to change the rule, including those who have already signaled their opposition to the idea, such as Sen. Joe Manchin.