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.

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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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