Democrats must find a way to work around the filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation, House Majority Whip James Clyburn told the Guardian in an interview published on Sunday.
His comments came after the House passed an election and anti-corruption bill that contains the largest expansion to voting rights since the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Axios reported.
However, the legislation passed the House without any Republican votes and is unlikely to pass the Senate due to the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to advance legislation.
“There’s no way under the sun that in 2021 that we are going to allow the filibuster to be used to deny voting rights, Clyburn told the Guardian. “That just ain’t gonna happen. That would be catastrophic.”
The bill would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013, that would require areas with a history of voting discrimination to obtain federal government permission before making election changes.
Clyburn criticized two moderate Democratic senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have opposed eliminating the filibuster, saying that “if Manchin and Sinema enjoy being in the majority, they had better figure out a way to get around the filibuster when it comes to voting and civil rights.”
Clyburn stressed that, “I’m not going to say that you must get rid of the filibuster. I would say you would do well to develop a Manchin-Sinema rule on getting around the filibuster as it relates to race and civil rights.”
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