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VP Biden Attacks The Filibuster, But Will He Do Anything About It?

Vice President Joe Biden had some harsh words for the abuse of the filibuster in the Senate this weekend.

“As long as I have served … I’ve never seen, as my uncle once said, the Constitution stood on its head as they’ve done. This is the first time every single solitary decisions has required 60 senators,” he said at a Florida fundraiser, according to the pool report. “No democracy has survived needing a super majority.”

To my knowledge this is the first time someone in the Obama administration has publicly attacked the anti-constitutional and destructive nature of the filibuster so directly. The big question is: will Joe Biden do anything about it?

As Vice President, Joe Biden is officially President pro tempore of the Senate. This gives him the power to help eliminate the filibuster using the so-called “nuclear option.” A senator would need to call a point of order against the filibuster, and Joe Biden as President pro tempore would need to make a parliamentary ruling upholding the point of order. This would likely result in an “appealing from the Chair,” and force a simple majority vote on whether to eliminate the filibuster or not.

I don’t suspect that Joe Biden plans to using the “nuclear option” anytime soon, but it is interesting to see statements extremely critical of the filibuster coming from the one individual with probably the most power to eliminate it.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at