Senate gives Biden a big tool to work around GOP filibuster

An official parliamentarian's opinion gives Democrats more options to get their priorities past Republican obstruction in the divided Senate.


National News

April 7, 2021 - 9:52 AM

President Joe Biden speaks during an event on state of vaccinations in the State Dinning Room on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/Pool/ABACAPRESS.COM/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a powerful new tool, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has fresh options for potentially advancing President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package  and other priorities past Republican obstruction in the 50-50 split Senate.

Republicans still pledge to do all they can to halt Biden, but an official parliamentarian’s opinion this week is a potential game-changer. It unleashes multiple options for Democrats to advance parts of Biden’s agenda — including immigration and Medicare legislation — with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate rather than the 60 typically needed to move major legislation past filibuster threats.

There has been talk of trying to change the filibuster rules, but that would be a very heavy political lift in the divided and tradition-devoted Senate.

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