WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has said he will support lifting the Senate piracy rule to address debt ceiling and voting rights legislation – and possibly other issues – after Republican House members used this mechanism to block bills on these two questions. month.
The 60-vote debt ceiling requirement is absurd, Biden said when asked about the pirate – who needs 60 votes to end the debate – at CNN’s town hall in Baltimore on Thursday.
He spoke two weeks after Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell pledged that Republicans would no longer cast the votes needed to allow Democrats to decide on a debt ceiling hike. They did so earlier this month for a temporary hike meant to move the Treasury Department to early December.
“If this happens again, I think you will see how many Democrats will be willing to say, ‘Not me, I will not do this anymore, we are going to put an end to the pirate,” Biden said. … “There are certain things that are just sacred rights. One sacred duty: we will never give up duty. “
Republicans have called on Democrats to address the debt ceiling issue using the same complicated negotiation process they used for the March pandemic bill and are now using for a massive social spending bill. Democrats rejected this approach, stressing that Republicans were jointly and severally responsible for debt and that debt ceilings were traditionally bipartisan.
Biden realized the complexity of dealing with the pirate rule.
“It is still just as difficult to put an end to the pirate, and that is another problem.”
The president said that while the government is accountable for its debts, “voting rights are the same,” speaking the day after GOP senators blocked a bill that would include features such as creating an automatic registration system voters through the automobile agencies of each state.
The law is intended to counter a series of new voting restrictions imposed by Republican-led state legislatures, which Democrats say are intended to restrict the participation of minorities and poorer Americans. Republicans argue that laws are needed to protect against electoral fraud.
The Freedom to Vote Bill was an attempt to find a compromise between Democrats after a broader voter access bill was blocked by Republicans in June and again in August.
Asked if he would entertain killing the voting rights piracy rule, Biden added, “And maybe more.”