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 DurbinDemocrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian  Biden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October 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 SchumerMcConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill Centrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE's (D-N.Y.) rejection of a plan for sharing power submitted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 ManchinJoe ManchinPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior —Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine safe for young kids 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.