Filibuster Frustration Boils Over

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Posted: Jun 09, 2021 12:01 AM

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New presidents have only so long to get big legislative initiatives done. It’s already June, and the clock is ticking for President Joe Biden. Big bills take a long time. Congress will spend much of the summer on recess. They’ll be at work in the fall, but by the end of the year, Democratic and Republican lawmakers will be obsessed with winning reelection in 2022.

But Biden has an even bigger problem than the calendar. In the last election, Democrats failed to win a majority in the Senate, and the body is now tied 50-50. If Republicans are united in opposition, Senate Democrats can pass bills only if they keep all 50 of their senators in line and then rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to break ties. It’s a difficult process that makes it extremely hard to pass controversial bills.

And yet many in the Democratic base, and certainly in its progressive wing, appear to expect the Senate to pass far-reaching, historic,

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