Washington, DC — Ahead of President Biden’s address to Congress tonight, media outlets are previewing the bold priorities he intends to outline in his speech. These include calls for Congress to pass gun violence legislation, immigration legislation with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, a push for drug price legislation to lower the cost of prescription drug prices, police reform legislation; and voting rights and democracy reform measures.
Additionally, President Biden is expected to focus on the details and importance of his American Jobs Plan, which includes infrastructure, employment, and climate measures, as well as the American Families Plan, a major investment in children, families, and education. Both of these legislative packages are expected to rely on the budget reconciliation process, with the Senate parliamentarian’s eventual rulings on what is considered germane to the budget process determining what measures will be included in the final packages.
Meanwhile, the “Jim Crow filibuster” may not be mentioned explicitly in President Biden’s remarks tonight, but it is clearer than ever that what Democrats decide to do with the filibuster will determine the fate of much of the agenda he is set to outline.
Eli Zupnick, spokesperson for Fix Our Senate, issued the following statement:
"President Biden and Democrats were elected by the American people to do big things and to deliver on a set of popular issues that are long overdue for enactment. As President Biden said at his first presidential press conference: ‘I got elected to solve problems.’
Yet the ultimate fate of many of these priorities rests on the filibuster and Senate Democrats’ decision on whether to keep this Jim Crow relic in place. Even Democrats’ reliance on the reconciliation process to advance the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan would reflect the dysfunction of the modern Senate. Democrats should not be forced to jam their priorities into reconciliation and hope that an unelected Senate parliamentarian allows them to proceed.
The clock is ticking. Senate Democrats will have to choose between protecting the filibuster or delivering on critical and popular priorities. They won’t be able to do both.”