Following Obama’s Lead, Democrats Rally Behind Abolishing Filibuster

Democrats, increasingly hopeful they can retake the White House and Senate in November, are discussing changing Senate rules to pass legislation with a simple majority of votes.

Known as the “nuclear option,” the move to eliminate the 60-vote threshold currently needed to end debate in a full Senate would allow a Joe Biden administration – and a Democrat-led Congress – to act swiftly on key party priorities, including climate change, voting rights and gun control, with just 51 votes.

It’s a possibility that the former vice president, who spent 36 years in the Senate, recently signaled more interest in considering – and one that could have significant implications for governing.

“If Biden wins, one of the most important discussions he’s going to have with Schumer and Pelosi is whether to pull the trigger or not,” James Manley, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide, said of the rule change. “The pressure from the base is going to be so strong, the demands are going to be so pent up, they’re going to have to make their move sooner rather than later.”

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