/
Biden to back Senate rule change in push for federal election control

Biden to back Senate rule change in push for federal election control


Biden to back Senate rule change in push for federal election control

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will use a speech in Georgia to endorse changing Senate filibuster rules that have stalled voting rights legislation that would give the federal government control over elections rules in every state. But some civil rights groups won’t be there, in protest of what they say is administration inaction.

A White House official, previewing the speech on the condition of anonymity, said Biden would voice support for changing the Senate filibuster rules only to ensure the right to vote is defended — a strategy Democrats have been looking to the president to embrace. Filibuster rules require 60 votes to advance most legislation — a threshold Senate Democrats can't meet on their own with their thin, 50-50 Senate majority. Republicans unanimously oppose the voting rights measures.

So far, Democrats have been unable to agree among themselves over potential changes to the Senate filibuster rules to allow action on voting rights, despite months of private negotiations.

Biden in the past has waded more cautiously into the debate — he is a former longtime senator who largely stands by existing rules but is also under enormous political pressure to engineer a breakthrough.