Supporters of nixing the 60-vote legislative filibuster are facing big hurdles in the Senate, even as President BidenJoe BidenBiden and Congress must take bold action to prevent violent extremismThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden faces GOP’s immigration and filibuster offensiveDemocrats play defense on border crisisMORE joins the fray by calling for reforms.

Progressives view Bidens comments endorsing a return to the talking filibuster as a big win after building pressure for months, despite the presidents reluctance to back their ultimate goal of eliminating the procedural roadblock altogether.

In the Senate, which will ultimately decide the fate of the filibuster, Democrats acknowledge they are far from being able to change the rules, meaning theyll still need GOP support for passing most legislation.

No, I think this is a process. And there are some who are skeptical of any change in the rules, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden faces GOP’s immigration and filibuster offensiveDemocrats play defense on border crisisTensions flare over Senate filibusterMORE (D-Ill.) said about whether Senate Democrats have the votes to change the rules.

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzSenate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon sessionMinimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibusterLittle known Senate referee to play major role on Biden relief planMORE (D-Hawaii), while saying he thought Biden was right to back the talking filibuster, added, How that impacts what the Senate will do, I think, remains very unclear.

I dont think this whole thing resolves around only one or two members. This has got to be a family discussion… within the caucus and then a family discussion within the Senate itself to the extent that thats even possible anymore, Schatz said.

In order to invoke the nuclear option to overhaul or get rid of the legislative filibuster, all 50 Democratic senators would have to endorse the effort.

That puts the spotlight on Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaMcConnell: Schumer ‘yielding to the pressure of the hard left’ on filibusterThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden faces GOP’s immigration and filibuster offensiveTensions flare over Senate filibusterMORE (D-Ariz.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden faces GOP’s immigration and filibuster offensiveTensions flare over Senate filibusterBiden says he supports return to ‘talking filibuster’MORE (D-W.Va.), who both have voiced opposition to removing the filibuster.

Manchin called Bidens remarks on Tuesday evening encouraging, but from a different perspective than progressives.

The president understands the importance of preserving the filibuster, Manchin said.

Im still at 60. ….I havent changed, Manchin said.

The moderate Democrat also shot down creating a carveout for specific issues: No, no, no. Thats like a little bit being pregnant.

Beyond Manchin and Sinema, theres broader concern within the Democratic caucus about making changes to the 60-vote requirement, much less getting rid of it entirely like progressives prefer.

There are several senators whove expressed concerns, Durbin said.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden faces GOP’s immigration and filibuster offensiveSix women who could be California’s next senatorFeinstein says she intends to serve full termMORE (D-Calif.) signaled worries about lowering the threshold from 60 votes, only to have Republicans force through conservative priorities when they are back in the majority.

I would say I’m undecided, Feinstein said, adding that the impact on a future GOP majority is a factor, one of the reasons why I’m hesitant.

Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDems’ momentum hits quagmire over infrastructure plansOregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debateThis week: Democrats eye next step after coronavirus relief bill win MORE (D-Del.), a close Biden ally, said he wasnt yet on board with getting rid of the filibuster.

I’m not there yet, Coons said. I am listening to proposals from colleagues.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocratic senators call on CDC to boost accessibility of vaccine scheduling for seniorsOregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debateDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster MORE (D-Mont.) endorsed the idea of a talking filibuster, but suggested it would still require 60 votes in the end to pass legislation.

Folks who want to stop a bill have to be passionate about it…. for however many hours it might be, Tester said. I think it would reduce the number of filibusters.

Biden shook up the debate over the Senates filibuster when he told ABC News during an interview that aired on Tuesday night that he supported reverting back to a talking filibuster.

You had to stand up and command the floor and you had to keep talking along, said Biden, who spent decades in the Senate. Once you stopped talking, you lost that and someone could move in and say, I move to the question of.

Youve got to work for the filibuster, Biden added. It is almost getting to the point where democracy is having a hard time functioning.

Biden didnt provide details on how a talking filibuster would play out in practice, and wasnt asked about his view on maintaining the 60-vote threshold for most legislation.

But supporters of reforming the filibuster touted his comments as a win nonetheless. Getting Biden, who has appeared wary of making changes, off the fence was viewed as a crucial step by activists to help build support for ultimately removing the 60-vote threshold for most legislation.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Biden was encouraging us to reform.

President Biden’s remarks are a major shift in his position, so it seems to me, and should spur reform. …He has given new energy and potential movement in reform efforts, Blumenthal said.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to hit road, tout COVID-19 relief lawOregon senator takes center stage in Democratic filibuster debateOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Graham, Sullivan signal possible support for Haaland confirmation | Agency says Biden leasing pause won’t impact 2021 energy production | Senate panel unanimously advances Biden pick for deputy Energy chiefMORE (D-Ore.), who has been at the center of caucus discussions on the rules, said Bidens remarks were very much appreciated.

The president recognized that the government of the United States cant do its job if its paralyzed, Merkley added.

What exactly a talking filibuster would entail is unclear. Reverting to the practice could require opponents of a bill to hold the floor, and once they were finished, the procedural vote would then be determined by a simple majority.

Democrats said another approach would be to set up a talking filibuster, forcing opponents out into public view,but still keeping the 60-vote requirement.

Senate Democrats stopped short of predicting exactly what Biden was endorsing, noting he didnt explicitly call for the 60-vote threshold to be spiked.

Hes being vague about it, but thats all right. I think he was acknowledging the fact that the filibuster has become institutionalized by Sen. [Mitch] McConnell. We now accept the premise that everything needs 60 votes so were a filibuster Senate. And I think that is a dramatic departure from the history of the body, Durbin said.

Asked if Biden was endorsing lowering the number of votes needed, Durbin added: He didnt say that. And as a student and creature of the Senate, he certainly knows how to choose his words carefully on this subject.

Pressure over the filibuster is only likely to escalate as the House sends over a growing list of big Democratic priorities that dont have the 60 votes needed to advance in the Senate, including immigration reform, background check expansion and voting rights.

Senate Democrats introduced a sweeping ethics and election reform bill on Wednesday, with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden: Cuomo should resign if harassment probe confirms allegationsHalf of New Yorkers say Cuomo shouldn’t immediately resign: pollStacey Abrams: ‘I don’t believe that it’s necessary to wholly eliminate the filibuster’ MORE (D-N.Y.) vowing to put it on the floor. It would need 60 votes to pass, but has no GOP cosponsors. The legislation, known as the For the People Act, is viewed by supporters of filibuster reform as a key bill that, if blocked, will spark broad calls to nix the filibuster. 

Republicans havent filibustered a bill since Biden took office, but McConnell made clear during a Fox News interview on Wednesday that they werent afraid to block legislation they oppose.

Supporters of changing, or nixing, the filibuster believe it will take watching Republicans block bills that have 50 Democratic votes, and broad public support, in order to move skeptics among the Senate Democratic caucus.

“We have to demonstrate to them how the rules can be used and abused before we go any further,” Durbin said.

Merkley added that Democrats would see how the year unfolds.

If McConnell continues his strategy of obstruction and delay, he said, then were going to work hard to bring everybody together to make the Senate work.