With much of its voting rights agenda stalled in Congress, the coronavirus pandemic enters a dangerous and politicized new phase, and the fate of a much-needed plan to remedy crumbling infrastructure The country is still uncertain, President Biden on Wednesday backed his support for Obstruction of the Senate.
“What I don’t want to do is wonder if this is all about filibuster,” Biden said at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, when host Don Lemon asked him why he is continuing. to support a procedure he called “a relic of Jim Crow.”
Biden added that abolishing filibuster – which prevents legislation from moving forward in the absence of 60 votes – “would throw the whole Congress into chaos and nothing will be done.”
The president defended his belief that a bipartisan approach in Washington remained a viable way to lead the government as well as help mend deep divisions among Americans.
“I spent a lot of time as a senator and vice president and I’m going to say something outrageous: I don’t think you’ll find a Republican I’ve ever worked with who said I broke my word, “Biden told a skeptic. an audience member who asked if it was worth trying to work across the aisle with Republicans who have largely sought to block his agenda.
Biden assured the public that his decades-long tenure as a senator gave him absolute confidence in the Democrats’ ability to forge constructive compromises with Republicans. The president quoted Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who, he said privately, gave him his word that a deal to move the bipartisan infrastructure agreement was within reach.
A procedural test vote on the aforementioned infrastructure framework failed earlier Wednesday due to resistance from the GOP. Biden, however, called the failure “irrelevant” during mayorship.
“I come from a tradition in the Senate, you shake hands, that’s all. You keep your word, ”Biden said. “And I found out Rob Portman was doing that. I found … your governor is a good man. You shake his hand, it’s done.
Biden said he was confident the Senate would pass a motion to continue debate on the bill by Monday, noting it was entirely possible and Democrats may still have to offer further concessions on issues. contentious issues.
He also revealed that several Republicans told him they agreed with his point of view but voted along party lines for fear of losing their jobs.
“The well has been so poisoned over the past four years and even now there is still this persistent effort,” he said, in a less than veiled criticism of the old administration. Biden also criticized the divisions that have been exacerbated by those who cling to conspiracy theories peddled by former President Donald Trump as well as the marginal QAnon group that the 2020 election was decided by fraud.
“I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnated, the point is you can’t watch this TV and say nothing happened on the 6th. You can’t listen to people who say he is. ‘this is a peaceful march, “Biden said of the riot on Capitol Hill led by Trump supporters, adding,” I think we’re starting to see some sort of venom leaking out of a lot of it. . We have to go beyond that.
Despite all his talk of bipartisanship, however, Biden remained critical of Republicans when he discussed their framing of the Democrats’ controversial relationship with law enforcement. Many GOP members have profited from rising crime rates across the country, possibly jeopardizing legislative negotiations on police reform and portraying Democrats as anti-police.
” They lie ! Biden exclaimed when asked about the notion, adding that what was needed instead of funding law enforcement was to change the behavior of officers.
Yet in quintessential Biden fashion, the president projected optimism throughout his town hall that a national reconciliation between the two sides would ultimately triumph.
“I have confidence in the American people that we will come to the right place,” Biden said.
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