The Rev. Al Sharpton says he may organize rallies in the home states of Democrat senators -- such as West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema -- who don't support abolishing the Senate filibuster, charging that they're, "in effect, supporting racism."
Sharpton said he's spoken with black civil rights leaders, voting rights advocates, and elected officials who argue that, for Senate Democrats, the filibuster issue is key, considering the degree to which the party depends on black voters.
Politico noted that Manchin is a target as the only Senate Democrat not to sign on as a co-sponsor of the For the People Act — which would transform nearly every aspect of the American electoral system. Sharpton is also keying in on the maverick Sinema, according to Politico.
“The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism,” Sharpton said. “Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”
Ardent liberal Democrats are pressing hard to end the Senate filibuster, which would allow the passage of their election law bill -- though it's a move Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned would cause a “100-car pileup” in a “scorched earth” chamber.
Having used the arcane “reconciliation” tactic to pass a $1.9 trillion spending package without a single Republican vote in the Senate, emboldened Democrats are now aiming to pass H.R. 1 – the election law bill that would prohibit states from requiring voter identification and massively expand mail-in balloting, among other changes.
Democrats have invoked “Jim Crow” as a means to discredit the filibuster, a tactic which allows for endless debate to stall legislation and first enshrined in Senate rules in 1917. Prior to that, the Senate had no rules to end debate and the chamber installed a 67-vote threshold to create one. That was reduced to 60 in 1975.
Manchin vowed earlier this month that he’ll never waiver in his support of the filibuster.
"Never!" he told Fox News when asked if he would ever change his mind on the filibuster. "... What don’t you understand about 'never?'"
Politico reported that Manchin said on Wednesday he wanted to see both parties “come together” on the voting bill. He told reporters that while there were so many good things in the proposal, “we should not at all attempt to do anything that will create more distrust,” in the election process.
And in an interview posted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Manchin said: “I think all of us should be able to be united around voting rights, but it should be limited to voting rights.”
He said the current bill “might divide us even further on a partisan basis.”
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