Former Sen. Al Franken said that he has been talking to his former colleagues, and he predicts that Democrats will pass new voting rights bills in response to Georgia voter suppression.
Former Sen. Al Franken said the new Georgia voter suppression bills are so bad that Democrats are going to reform the filibuster and pass voting rights bills. pic.twitter.com/mUntGTOvVQ
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 26, 2021
Franken said on MSNBC:
Three things I think will happen because of this. First of all, we’re going to pass some version of S.1 and of the House bill HR. 1 and HR.4 And pre-clearance and some federal — because this is so bad and everybody knows it. And to do that, we’re going to have to do something about the filibuster. Now, first of all, we may do something where you lower the threshold to 51 on voting, like a carve-out. And that makes a lot of sense. This is so fundamental to our democracy.
And then, as you mentioned, you reform the filibuster. Joe Manchin has said he doesn’t want to get rid of the filibuster, but he’s open to reforming it. And I’ve been talking to my former colleagues about this, and I think this is possible. And Norm Ornstein and I a few years ago came up with how to do this. Basically, you have to get 60 votes to break a filibuster, you have to get 41 votes to sustain a filibuster, in this case, the Republicans, and they have to be on the floor to do that. And then they would have to do a talking filibuster, which means they would have to debate this. And believe me, I know — I do know my colleagues, they don’t want to have to be there in the middle of the night. This will get old very quick. This is viable.
Senators don’t want to be on the floor all night because Ted Cruz wants to make a point. Many of the Senators in the Republican caucus are older and they are not going to want to stick around for 24 or 48 to block legislation. The whole point is to not make the filibuster easy. If Republicans want to filibuster, they will have to put in the effort.
Every single Democrat, including Sen. Manchin, agrees with filibuster reform. What former Sen. Franken laid out is exactly what is likely to happen.
Democrats aren’t going to sit back and allow Republicans to rig elections. Georgia Republicans may have sealed the GOP’s fate with their voter suppression laws.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association