Fox News’ Peter Doocy grilled White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday over President Joe Biden’s past comments concerning the Senate filibuster.
Doocy noted Biden’s past comments to Psaki during the daily White House press briefing, amid the push by a number of congressional Democrats to either get rid of or change, the rule. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Admits ‘There Are Grave Risks Associated With Eliminating The Filibuster’)
“The president said he thinks the filibuster is a legacy of the Jim Crow era. Did he think that it was a legacy of the Jim Crow era in 2005 when he defended the filibuster and said ‘altering Senate rules to help one political fight or another could become standard operating procedure, which in my view would be disastrous,'” Doocy asked.
Psaki responded by noting that Biden said during his Thursday press conference that the filibuster was used 58 times between 1917 and 1971, but was used five times as much in 2020 alone. She stated that the Senate rule isn’t being used for its “intended purpose” and that it’s being “abused.” She added that “there are scenarios as it relates to voting rights where it is oppressing” and allows for “systemic racism,” which was the concern she claimed Biden was expressing.
“There are some concerns on the right that if you get rid of the filibuster it effectively means one party rule. So, is that what the president was getting at when he was asked about 2024 and he said ‘I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party?'” Doocy followed up.
“That certainly wasn’t what he was getting at, given as part of his answer he conveyed that his objective, and his hope, is to work with Republicans. He wants to get work done for the American people, he wants to put in place solutions, put people back to work, get the pandemic under control, make voting easier and more accessible, and it’s really on Republicans in Congress to decide of they’re going to be part of the solution or if they’re going to be part of obstruction. So, he’s leaving it up to them to make the decision on what role they want to play in history,” Psaki concluded.
During the first press conference of his presidency on Thursday, Biden signaled he could potentially support ending the filibuster. He stated he was at least in support of moving back towards the talking filibuster, which would require continued speaking in order to maintain the filibuster.
Many Democrats have been pushing to eliminate the filibuster in order to enact some of their policy priorities. Republicans have been staunch defenders of the rule and have opposed efforts to do away with it. Democrats are hardly united on the issue with Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema declaring their support for keeping the filibuster intact.