With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes
March 8, 2021
WASHINGTON - With President Joe Biden on the verge of his first big legislative victory, a key moderate Democrat said Sunday he's open to changing Senate rules that could allow for more party-line votes to push through other parts of the White House's agenda such as voting rights.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin stressed that he wants to keep the procedural hurdle known as the filibuster, saying major legislation should always have significant input from the minority party. But he noted there are other ways to change the rules that now effectively require 60 votes for most legislation. One example: the "talking filibuster," which requires senators to slow a bill by holding the floor, but then grants an "up or down" simple majority vote if they give up.
"The filibuster should be painful, it really should be painful and we've made it more comfortable over the years," Manchin said. "Maybe it has to be more painful."