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Biden says open to altering filibuster process for Democrats' voting rights bill 'and maybe more'

President acknowledged several Democratic senators are opposed to changing the chamber's filibuster process

Published: October 22, 2021 7:55am

Updated: October 22, 2021 8:03am

President Biden said Thursday night he would be open to altering the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation "and maybe more," a shift in the president's position on the Senate voting rule. 

Biden made the comment during a televised CNN town hall in Baltimore when asked about Democrats' voting rights bills being blocks by Republicans in the evenly divided Senate. 

CNN host Anderson Cooper asked: "When it comes to voting rights, just so I'm clear though, you would entertain the notion of doing away with the filibuster on that one issue, is that correct?"

Biden replied: "And maybe more.” However he also said attempting to do so now would hurt his ability to pass his economic agenda, considering Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have expressed opposition to altering the filibuster, which would effectively allow Senate Democrats to pass legislation without a single Republican vote. 

"I lose at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation, the foreign policy side of the equation," Biden said.

The president said he would propose an intermediate return to the so-called "talking filibuster," which requires senators to speak continuously on the floor to hold up votes, according to CNN. 

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