Close Biden ally says he is open to ending the filibuster

Close Biden ally says he is open to ending the filibuster
© Greg Nash

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Del.), a close ally and friend of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Tammy Duckworth is the epitome of the American Dream Mexico's president uses US visit to tout ties with Trump MORE, expressed openness in an interview with Politico on Monday to ending the use of the filibuster in the Senate if Biden is elected president, despite expressing skepticism about such a step in 2019.

Even if the Democrats retake the majority in the Senate this November, reforms will be needed for the chamber to accomplish anything under a Biden presidency, Coons, Biden’s successor in the Senate, told Politico.

“We're going to have a real challenge being able to legislate,” he said. “If we're going to legislate durable solutions … we have to be having conversations now about what's the path forward towards a healthier, more functional Senate.”

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Coons told the publication he does not advocate eliminating the filibuster, but also does not believe the option is off the table.

“I will not stand idly by for four years and watch the Biden administration's initiatives blocked at every turn,” he said. “I am gonna try really hard to find a path forward that doesn't require removing what's left of the structural guardrails, but if there's a Biden administration, it will be inheriting a mess, at home and abroad. It requires urgent and effective action.”

Coons was far more dismissive of the notion in 2019, calling proposals by some on the left flank of the party to eliminate the maneuver “wrong.”

“The strong temptation of the opportunity to achieve some short-term legislative gains will be outweighed in the long term by losing the one barrier that prevents the Senate from allowing whatever passion is currently running through the House and the presidency from becoming law,” he said.