President Barack Obama, whose comments about filibuster as an outdated practice reminiscent of the Jim Crow era were echoed by President Biden on Thursday, once delivered a speech in the Senate in favor of maintaining due process.
In 2005, then-Senator Obama delivered a speech in which he argued against ending obstructionism and thereby allowing one of the parties to “change the rules in the middle of the game so they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet. “
“If the majority chooses to end filibuster, if it chooses to change the rules and end the Democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness and the stalemate will only get worse,” Obama said.
In a speech he delivered at the funeral of Rep. John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, in July 2020, at the funeral of the civil rights icon, Obama said if it was necessary to remove obstructionism to pass legislation on civil rights and law. to vote, then it should be.
“And if all of this requires removing obstructionism, another Jim Crow relic, to secure God-given rights to all Americans, then that’s what we need to do,” Obama said.
BIDEN SAID IN 2005 THAT NICAR AL FILIBUSTER ‘DISTURBED THE CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN’ AND ‘WOULD EVISCERATE THE SENATE’
Obstructionism is a long-standing procedural process that allows a legislator to object and stop new actions or votes, which in the past had led senators to give speeches for hours and hours on different topics.
Today, senators can simply signal their intention to object, even in private, and that’s enough for Senate leaders to act. Leaders sometimes simply dismiss the issue of floor consideration.
Otherwise, it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster.
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Changing the obstructionist rules is an idea endorsed by some Senate Democrats eager to advance Biden’s agenda in the evenly divided Senate.
Biden echoed Obama’s thoughts on filibuster Thursday during his first official press conference as president, and agreed when a reporter introduced him to Obama’s characterization of filibuster as a relic of the Jim Crow era.
Associated Press contributed to this report.