Joe Biden calls for Senate reform


US President Joe Biden has spoken out in favor of changing the majority rules in the Senate in order to enforce electoral reform. If the Republicans should block the plans to expand the right to vote repeatedly with their blocking minority, he would support a change in the Senate rules if necessary, said Biden on Tuesday at a performance in Atlanta, Georgia. The rules would have to be changed if necessary so that it would be possible for the majority to vote for the protection of democracy.

“I support changing Senate rules – in whatever way necessary – to prevent a minority of Senators from blocking franchise reform,” Biden said. So far he had only said that he supported efforts to make the use of the “filibuster” procedure more difficult. The rule enables a minority to block bills proposed by the majority. The rule, which in principle has been in place for more than 100 years, states that 60 of the 100 senators must approve an end to the debate in the case of bills so that a vote can take place.

Biden’s Democrats control 50 of the 100 votes in the Senate, and Vice President Kamala Harris can help them win ex officio in a stalemate. But because at least two Democrats reject the abolition of the “filibuster”, it seems uncertain whether a change in the rule could even come about. The Republicans in the Congress Chamber have warned that if it were to be abolished, they would do everything in their power to slow down the government at every point.

In Atlanta, Biden appealed to the Republicans in the Senate to pass a law named after civil rights activist John Lewis to expand and protect the right to vote. The vote was a crucial moment in US history, said Biden. “Every member of the Senate will be judged by history,” he said. “There is no escape.”

The law already passed by the House of Representatives aims to protect the right to vote and to put a stop to laws of the states that undermine the right to vote. Many Republican states – including Georgia, Texas and Arizona – have recently passed regulations that critics believe would make voting more difficult.



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