Asked whether he would entertain the notion of getting rid of the filibuster for voting rights legislation, Biden said “maybe more.”
“We’re gonna have to move to the point where we fundamentally alter the filibuster,” Biden said at a CNN Town Hall.
It was a stark acknowledgment that in a narrowly controlled Senate without cooperation from Republicans, a 60-vote threshold prevents critical items from passage.
Biden said it “remains to be seen exactly what that means in terms of fundamentally — on whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up.”
He has also said he could support a return to the so-called “standing filibuster,” which requires senators to speak continuously on the floor to hold up votes.
Biden said there were “certain things that are just sacred rights” and “sacred obligation” that shouldn’t be beholden to obstruction from the minority party, listing the debt limit and voting rights.
Yet he conceded the time was not right for such changes as he negotiates with moderate Democrats over his sweeping domestic agenda.
“If, in fact, I get myself into at this moment the debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation, foreign policy side of the equation,” he said.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have both expressed opposition to alerting the filibuster.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.