President Biden takes office with an ambitious policy agenda intended to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, stimulate the economy, reduce inequality, and combat climate change. While some progress on these issues is possible through executive power, Biden will also need to work with a divided Congress where institutional obstacles like the cloture rule and the Senate filibuster can stand in his way.
Calls to reform or abolish the filibuster gained steam on the campaign trail when it appeared Democrats could take control of the Senate. Now that the chamber is split 50-50, what are the chances we see a change to the filibuster in 2021? How could the filibuster be reformed? And would eliminating the filibuster all together lead to better governance?
On January 22, the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution hosted a debate on the future of the filibuster and the merits of proposed reforms.