Chris Lange, FISM News
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to make a point with Wednesday’s vote on his party’s bid to end the GOP filibuster of its voting rights legislation, despite it being clear the issue is already dead on arrival. “We are all going to go on the record,” Schumer said.
“Once members of the minority party have exhausted all of their speaking rights and defended their position on the Senate floor, the debate will have run its course, and the Senate will move to vote on final passage at a majority threshold,” he added. The move to end the filibuster is all but certain to be defeated without Republican support and with Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema refusing to back down in their opposition to changing the requirement.
Schumer plans to bring a “talking filibuster” proposal to the floor, which would require only a simple majority to advance toward final passage of voting rights legislation following a period of debate.
“Much has been said over the past few days about the prospects of passing voting rights legislation in this chamber,” Schumer said. “Senate Democrats are under no illusion that we face difficult odds, especially when virtually every Senate Republican – virtually every Senate Republican – is staunchly against legislation protecting the right to vote. But I want to be clear: When this chamber confronts a question this important—one so vital to our country, so vital to our ideals, so vital to the future of our democracy—you don’t slide it off the table and say, ‘Never mind.’”
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) responded by pointing out that Democrats used the 60-vote filibuster to their advantage as recently as last Thursday when they defeated a bill pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to impose new sanctions on the Russian company behind the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany.
“Democrats want the American people to believe the filibuster was not a Jim Crow relic in 2005; was not a Jim Crow relic in 2020; became a Jim Crow relic in 2021; briefly stopped being a Jim Crow relic last Thursday; but is now back to being a Jim Crow relic this week?” McConnell mocked before accusing Democrats of trying to legislate a “partisan takeover” of the election system.
“We have inflation, a pandemic, rampant violent crime, a border crisis, and the possibility of a war on the European continent. But rather than work on any of that, Senate Democrats want to mar their own legacies with a reckless procedural vote they know will fail,” said McConnell, before concluding, “A faction this desperate for unlimited short-term power is a faction that must be denied it.”
The timing of Dems’ push for sweeping changes in how the nation’s elections are carried out comes ahead of this year’s midterm elections with the party facing an uphill struggle to maintain their control of the House and Senate.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have offered to help amend the Electoral Count Act of 1887 in order to clarify Congress’ role in certifying election results and guard against a repeat of the events of Jan. 6, 2021.