What is the filibuster and why it needs to end

Jack Edner, Staff Writer

Ever since the Republicans retook control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, you’ve probably heard the word ‘filibuster’ quite a lot. But what actually is a filibuster, what does it do, and how would ending it affect the Biden presidency?

The United States Senate defines ‘filibuster’ as this: “Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.”

Basically, a filibuster was a senator talking and debating on the floor of the Senate. However, recently it is a senator delaying a bill by demanding a supermajority of votes to cut stalling on the floor. There are many examples of filibusters throughout the history of the Senate.

Most famously and more recently, in 1957, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, with much preparation, talked for 24 hours and 18 minutes straight. This was in hopes of blocking President Dwight Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Act of 1957. Despite Thurmond’s effort, the bill passed.

The Republicans have utilized the filibuster very well over the past 15 years. They used it to try to block President Barrack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which still passed.

Recently, the Democratic Party has been pushing to end the Republican filibuster. Earlier this year, the Republicans tried to filibuster President Biden’s For the People Act, which expanded voting rights. And they’ve even said that they’ll filibuster Biden’s massive infrastructure bill and the DC statehood proposal.

The Democrats have control of the Senate 51-50 and have the votes to end the filibuster. However, it isn’t that simple.

Most importantly, there are two Democratic Senators, Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), who have said that they do not support ending the filibuster. They believe that getting rid of it will be “tyranny of the majority.”

Long story short, the filibuster needs to go (and soon). Biden has plans to change the country in ways not seen since FDR or LBJ. But this can only happen if Manchin and Sinema get on board, which is very questionable. An end to the filibuster would allow Biden to be the president that we elected, and the president we need in a time like this.

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