MSNBC host Joy Reid asked Senior Advisor to the President Cedric Richmond on Tuesday if he thought Democrats in the Senate should forge ahead with their agenda in a partisan way, and just “make up with Republicans later.”
Richmond appeared as Reid’s guest on “The ReidOut” and discussed what President Joe Biden’s administration’s plan was to move legislation forward with a Senate that is split 50-50. (RELATED: Even With The Filibuster, Slim Democratic Control Of Congress Keeps Biden’s Agenda Alive)
“We’ve already seen a federal court in Texas try to block the deportation pause that the president has implemented. You’re already seeing a pushback there,” Reid began. “You’ve already seen complaining about some of the language about racial equity coming from the other side. There’s been this executive action on racial inequity, which I expect to get a lot of pushback as well.”
Reid was referencing a few of the things the Biden administration has already done through executive action and the pushback each of them is receiving. Biden’s Department of Homeland Security issued a memo on Jan. 20 halting all deportations for 100 days, which has been blocked by a federal judge in Texas. Biden also issued executive orders on Jan. 26 addressing racial “equity” and stopping the renewal of federal government contracts with private prisons.
“Is it worth pursuing bipartisanship instead of encouraging Democratic senators to use the power they have while they have it?” Reid continued. “This power can be temporary, to force these pieces of legislation through now and make up with Republicans later?”
Richmond responded by pointing out that the pieces of legislation they want to get passed will require 60 votes to be approved by the Senate and that executive orders would be used whenever possible to get things done that were considered a “priority.”
Some Democrats have floated the idea of getting rid of the filibuster rule, which would allow legislation to pass with a simple majority, rather than a 60 vote majority. This proposal was put to bed with the decisions of Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to not not support scrapping the rule.
“When you started off talking about whether it was the deportation pause, whether it’s protecting our dreamers, whether it’s the diversity inclusion rollback, or the embarrassing 1776 Commission. Those are things we can do by executive order, and we’re going to do them….we’re excited about those things we can do on our own,” Richmond concluded.