White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Biden’s reluctance to mention the need to eliminate or reform the filibuster, which has made it difficult for Democrats to move forward with voting rights legislation in Congress.
– On voting rights, civil rights leaders and activists have characterized the president’s reluctance to mention the filibuster as a lack of urgency on the issue. I mean, what do you say to those critics that say that’s a lack of urgency that he hasn’t yet pushed senators to support abandoning or modifying the filibuster to get this legislation passed?
JEN PSAKI: Well, I would say first that the president delivered a major speech yesterday on voting rights, which received a great deal of attention and many accolades from a lot of supporters, advocates out there in the country, as well, because he wants to stand with them and is committed to standing with proponents of access to voting rights across the country in this fight and this effort moving forward. He also talked in his speech, as you know, about not just his commitment to the For the People Act, but also about what levers from the federal government he will continue to use, whether it was the executive order he signed into law just a few months ago or steps the Department of Justice are also taking. But this is going to be a cause of his presidency. The fact that he delivered a speech yesterday elevating the issue, educating people on the issue, making sure people understood their rights should be seen as representative of his commitment. Go ahead.