February 4th, 2010
07:04 PM ET
12 years ago

Biden ponders filibuster reform

Washington (CNN) - Moments after swearing in Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, whose presence in the Senate means Democrats no longer have their 60-vote filibuster-proof supermajority, Vice President Joe Biden told reporters he thinks filibusters have been abused in recent years and that the Senate should consider reforms.

"It's a useful tool, it is legitimate. But from my perspective, having served here, elected to the Senate seven times, I've never seen a time when it's become standard operating procedure," Biden said. "You want to get anything done, you have to have a supermajority.

Biden noted that filibusters are not called for in the Constitution and the threshold was changed once before – from 67 votes to 60 votes – when it was "recognized as increasingly difficult" to get bills passed.

Biden, who spoke to reporters as he was leaving the Capitol, insisted his desire for reform is not because he and President Obama occupy the White House and are struggling to pass their legislative agenda.

"Any President in the future, having to move through anything he or she wants, requiring a supermajority, it's not a good way to do business," he said.

Biden said he asked his staff to "scrub" the issue, but said he doesn't have a view as to what a new supermajority should be.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. ForThePeople

    Is it a coincidence that Biden now wants to discuss filibuster reform after the election of Senator Brown has ruined the Democrats filibuster proof capability?

    February 4, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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