Durbin: Senate should consider changes to filibuster

A senior Democratic senator indicated Sunday that he believed his party should consider scrapping the Senate's filibuster rule if Republicans prove unwilling to compromise on legislation pursued by the Biden administration.

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinBiden coronavirus relief bill tests narrow Democratic majority Hillicon Valley: Senate confirms Biden Commerce secretary pick Gina Raimondo | Wray hints at federal response to SolarWinds hack | Virginia governor signs comprehensive data privacy law Wray hints at federal response to SolarWinds hack MORE (D-Ill.), the majority whip, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that "of course" Democrats would consider changing the filibuster rule that requires most legislation to reach 60 votes to pass the chamber should the Senate be paralyzed by GOP efforts to oppose Biden's agenda.

"The American people want us to take action, action on this pandemic, action on this economy and on a host of other issues, and if this filibuster has become so common in the Senate that we can't act, that we just sit there helpless, shame on us. Of course we should consider a change in the rule under those circumstances," said Durbin.

"But let's see. Let's see if we can initiate a real bipartisan dialogue and get something done. That's the bottom line," Durbin added.

His remarks came following Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA Biden stumble on China? First Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote MORE's (D-N.Y.) rejection of a plan for sharing power submitted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress MORE (R-Ky.) this week over McConnell's insistence that Democrats agree not to scrap the filibuster, which Schumer called "unacceptable."

In order to change the rule, Democrats would require the support of every member of their caucus, including several members who have already indicated their opposition to doing so such as centrist West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMurkowski never told White House she would oppose Tanden On The Money: Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief | Relief bill tests narrow Democratic majority | Senate confirms Biden's picks for Commerce, top WH economist Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief MORE (D).

Calls to end the filibuster rule among the progressive left and even members of House leadership have grown in recent weeks as Democrats have urged Biden to act quickly with legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.