President Joe Biden called out Congressional Republicans for being beholden to Donald Trump, saying that he has had at least five Republican senators tell him that they’re unwilling to support policies that they believe are good because they worry about getting challenged in a primary by a Republican more loyal to the former president.
“Did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party, where they’re unwilling to take any vote contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary?” Biden said during a press conference yesterday.
“I have five Republican senators talk to me – bump into me, quote-unquote, or sit with me – who told me they agree with whatever I’m talking about for them to do. ‘But Joe, if I do it, I’ll get defeated in a primary.’
“We gotta break that. It’s gotta change.”
Biden: Did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they’re unwilling to take any vote contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary pic.twitter.com/lf4vg4iS35
— Acyn (@Acyn) January 19, 2022
The Senate yesterday voted not to change the filibuster rule, dooming a voting rights bill that Biden and most Congressional Democrats support. The voting rights bill would have made it easier for people to vote, reduced gerrymandering, and introduced rules to restrict “dark money” campaign contributions, among other reforms.
The Senate currently requires 60 votes to end a filibuster, but only 50 votes (with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie) are necessary to change the rules about the filibuster. There are 50 Democrats in the Senate, but out Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted against changing the rules to allow the Senate to pass laws by a majority vote.