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White House says Biden would prefer to not end filibuster

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A top White House official confirmed Sunday that President Biden remains opposed to ending the filibuster and pointed to the administration’s success in passing the COVID-19 relief package as evidence that it can get its priorities through Congress.

Communications director Kate Bedingfield told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that Biden remains committed to winning Republican support even after no GOP lawmakers broke with their party in either chamber to vote for the $1.9 trillion relief bill.

“It is still his position [that the filibuster should be preserved],” Bedingfield said. “He wants to work with Republicans, to work with independents. He believes that, you know, we are stronger when we build a broad coalition of support.”

Tapper then asked Bedingfield how the administration will address other issues, such as its push to raise the minimum wage, that cannot be passed via the Senate’s 50-vote budget reconciliation threshold. She responded that GOP voters and Americans at large would rally behind the administration’s agenda.

“We also got it done with the support of 75 percent of the American people, including over 50 percent of Republicans,” she said. “We were able to pass this legislation with massive bipartisan support across the country.”

Her comments come as progressives in the House have reissued their calls for the filibuster to be scrapped or for Vice President Harris to overrule the Senate parliamentarian over which legislation can be passed through the reconciliation process, ideas that have seen little support from party leadership.

Moderates in the Senate such as Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have also indicated their opposition to using the reconciliation process to get around opposition from GOP senators, citing an unwillingness to break tradition and a desire for bipartisanship in the chamber.

“I’m not willing to go into reconciliation until we at least get bipartisanship or get working together or allow the Senate to do its job,” Manchin said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Tags Jake Tapper Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kate Bedingfield

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