Saturday, March 25, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Obama Backs Senate|Vote to Curb Filibuster

(CN) - Citing an "unprecedented pattern of obstruction" in Congress, President Barack Obama said he supports the Senate's 52-48 vote Thursday to weaken the power of the filibuster.

The rule change, approved by Senate Democrats, will make it harder for minority Republicans to block Obama's nominees for judges and other positions.

"The vote today, I think, is an indication that a majority of senators believe as I believe that enough is enough," Obama said at the White House. "The American people's business is far too important to keep falling prey day after day to Washington politics."

He said the filibuster is "no longer used in a responsible way to govern. It's rather used as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt. That's not what our founders intended and it's certainly not what our country needs right now."

Lawmakers voted Thursday to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for executive office and judicial nominees, except the president's nominees for the Supreme Court.

Republican senators called the move a "power grab" meant to distract from the rollout mess of Obamacare, NBC reports. They were joined by three Democratic senators in opposing the change.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.