Friday, May 20, 2022

Schumer vows to continue filibuster reform: ‘We will never give up’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) vowed to advance his party’s plans to change the House’s anti-piracy rules and pass an expanded voting rights bill despite continued opposition from two members of his party, Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va). .) and Kristen Cinema (Arizona).

Schumer made the comments at a National Action Network Martin Luther King Jr. Day event saying he will continue to do “everything in my power to advance legislation that will strengthen our democracy.” He pointed directly to “two Democrats who don’t want this to happen” before adding that “the fight isn’t over yet.”

Far from it, Schumer saidstanding next to Al Sharpton. “I’m going to Washington and we’re going to discuss voting rights. We’re going to debate this, and in the Senate, as you know, we need 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster… but since we only have 50 Democrats in our razor-tiny majority, the only way forward on this important issue is to change rules to get around a filibuster.”

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The Senate is expected to begin official debate Tuesday on a bill called “Freedom to Vote: The John R. Lewis Act”, using a procedural loophole to start the process without the usual 60 votes required.

This pressure will be an uphill battle with little hope of success, but leading Democrats have decided to press on anyway, forcing Republicans to publish their votes.

Cinema surprised members of her party and President Joe Biden last week when she took to the floor of the Senate and told her fellow Democrats that she would not support changing the piracy rules, saying she thought it would lead to a “spiral split.”

Manchin has also repeatedly said he does not support changing the anti-piracy rules, reiterating his position last week that he would not vote for it.

Biden pushed for an expanded new voting rights bill that had already passed in the House of Representatives along party lines. The bill will expand and protect voter access, reform the redistricting process, and protect against election disruption, among other provisions. This was welcomed by voting rights advocates, but Sinema and Manchin said they did not support changing Senate rules to push it through.

Republicans can effectively block any bill, as the current filibuster rules doom any bill that doesn’t get at least 60 votes.

“We must never give up,” Schumer said on Monday. “We are going to continue until we have full voting rights for all Americans. We will never give up until we stop passing these terrible, terrible laws, until we expand the right to vote, not reduce it.”

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Nation World News Desk
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