HPS Insights

Insights: A Peek Into The 50-50 Senate’s Future With Former Senator Chris Dodd

January 20, 2021
3 min read
Bryan DeAngelis

In the days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) joined the HPS Insights podcast for a wide-ranging conversation on Biden’s agenda, the enormous tasks he faces upon assuming office, and the future of the U.S. Senate.

Senator Dodd, one of President-elect Biden’s closest friends, spent nearly three decades serving alongside President Biden in the United States Senate, including as members of the Foreign Relations Committee and worked closely with then-Vice President Biden during the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Our conversation started with Senator Dodd’s views on how President Biden will seek to heal a divided nation following the insurrection at the Capitol while managing the government’s efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Dodd discusses how President Biden will focus his attention on defeating the pandemic first, then reopening the American economy, while allowing the Senate to work through an impeachment trial and the confirmation process.

Regarding President Biden’s historically diverse staffing nominations, Senator Dodd offered that, “No other administration ever again will be able to come into power in this country — Democrat or Republican — and not try to model the team they built around them…”

Senator Dodd previews life in an evenly divided Senate, based on his own experience in 2001. The former Banking Committee Chairman expects to see Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and other Democratic Chairs work closely with their ranking members, but with an urgency to move legislation forward that addresses the pressing issues Democrats have been pushing for. These issues include economic equality, racial justice, immigration reform, climate change, and more.

Will Democrats need to eliminate the filibuster to accomplish their agenda? Senator Dodd offers a few ideas for reforming the filibuster, such as increasing the political cost of exercising the filibuster so that it is reserved only for critical matters.

To hear the full conversation, subscribe to HPS Insights wherever you get your podcasts or listen here.

More Insights