Tags: democrats | filibuster | election | laws | mcconnell

Democrats See Filibuster as Key to Radical 'Voting Rights' Bill

Democrats See Filibuster as Key to Radical 'Voting Rights' Bill
The U.S. Capitol Building as seen from First Street on the east side of the building, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. The entrance ramps to the underground visitors center are visible to either side of the main entrance approaching the Capitol Dome. (Sean Thompson/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 March 2021 04:38 PM

Ardent liberal Democrats are pressing hard to end the U.S. Senate filibuster to enact their election law bill, a move Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday would cause a “100-car pileup” and 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 House’s 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.

"We're headed for a showdown between the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the filibuster – a relic of Jim Crow," Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, told Politico.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., added to the rhetoric.

"We're in Washington to fulfill our promises to the American people, to make this government work for them, not to give Mitch McConnell a veto,” she said Monday. “So stay tuned."

“Reconciliation” only requires a simple majority in the Senate but can only be used on budget issues, which means the election law bill would need every Democrat and at least 10 Republicans to pass, unless the rules are changed, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has already said he would not vote to eliminate the filibuster, and Sen. Krysten Sinema also has publicly opposed changing it.

McConnell, who resisted Democrats’ attempts to eliminate the filibuster in January when power-sharing was agreed to in a 50-50 Senate, threw down the gauntlet about changing it now.

“This chaos would not open up an express lane to liberal change. It would not open up an express lane for the Biden presidency to speed into the history books,” McConnell said on the floor of the chamber, vowing to use every tactic Republicans had to grind work to a halt.

“The Senate to be more like a hundred-car pileup, nothing moving. And then there's a small matter that majorities, or actually are never permanent.”

“So let me say this very clearly for all 99 of my colleagues,” he added. “Nobody serving in this chamber can even begin, and even begin to imagine what a completely scorched earth Senate would look like.”

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US
Ardent liberal Democrats are pressing hard to end the U.S. Senate filibuster to enact their election law bill, a move Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday would cause a "100-car pileup" and a "scorched earth" chamber.
democrats, filibuster, election, laws, mcconnell
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2021-38-16
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 04:38 PM
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