Press Secretary Jen Psaki Says Filibuster ‘Allowing for Systematic Racism in Country’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the filibuster was “allowing for systematic racism in the country.”

The statement came as Psaki was asked if President Joe Biden thought the filibuster was a legacy of the Jim Crow era in 2005 when he defended the filibuster.

Psaki explained the filibuster is being used now five times more often than between 1917 and 1971, a total of 58 times.

Psaki then declared the filibuster “is not being used for the intended purpose,” adding, “It is being abused. And, yes, there are scenarios, as it related to voting rights, where it is — um — oppressing — it is allowing for systematic racism in the country.”

The statement comes after President Joe Biden was asked in his first solo press conference Thursday if he would support ending the filibuster “when it comes to voting rights and civil rights?”

Biden said he has “an open mind about dealing with certain things that are just elemental to the functioning of our democracy, like the right to vote.” Also relaying he wants “to get things done consistent with what we promised the American people.”

Biden continued, “To do that … we have got to get to the place where I get 50 votes so that the Vice President of the United States can break the tie or I get 51 votes without her.”

“And if we have to, if there is complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, we will have to go beyond what I’m talking about,” Biden concluded.


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