Majority Leader Schumer made it clear in remarks on the Senate floor that the cloture vote on the Freedom To Vote Act is a step toward filibuster reform.
Schumer Takes The Next Step In His Campaign For Voting Rights Filibuster Reform.
Video of Schumer:
Majority Leader Schumer said in part:
And I want to especially thank Senator Manchin for his hard work over the past few weeks. He’s reached across the aisle to try and find a way for the Senate to do its work in a bipartisan fashion. I thank him for his commitment to finding bipartisanship on a subject that, by all accounts, should be bipartisan to its core and has been for much of our history.
Now, today’s vote is a cloture vote on a motion to proceed. It presents Senators with a simple question: should the Senate even debate—debate— voting rights? That’s what this is about: simply a debate, and an important one to be sure. No Republican is being asked to sign their names to this or that policy today. But they are being asked to come to the table and have a discussion and allow amendments.
I want to be clear: if Republicans join us in proceeding to this bill, I am prepared to hold a full-fledged debate worthy of the US Senate. The minority will have the chance to have their voices heard. This Senate has already voted on more amendments than in any year under former President Trump – and on this legislation, again, Republican Senators would be able to offer amendments. But for that to happen, we have to get on the bill today.
What we can’t accept is a situation where one side is calling for bipartisan debate and bipartisan cooperation while the other refuses to even engage in a dialogue. If our Republican colleagues don’t like our ideas they have a responsibility to present their own.
It’s ludicrous for any Republican to assert that the federal government has no role to play in safeguarding elections when state laws disenfranchise American citizens. I invite them to read the Constitution of the United States of America, which precisely empowers Congress to regulate the “times, places, and manners” of holding elections. I invite them to look at modern American history, when the Senate stepped into the breach numerous times when Jim Crow states sought to restrict the right to vote.
There is a long and hallowed tradition of the Senate, often in a bipartisan coalition, working to protect access to the franchise. And today, our colleagues should vote to begin debate for how we can add to that legacy.
But what Republicans should not do, what they must not do, is squelch any chance, any chance, for the Senate to debate something as critical, as sacrosanct, as American, as the right to vote. The clock is ticking on our chance to take meaningful action.
Schumer Is Setting The Stage For Filibuster Reform
Democrats now have a bill that every member of the Senate caucus supports. Majority Leader Schumer gave Sen. Manchin weeks to get bipartisan support for the legislation.
This is all leading up to showing Manchin and Sinema that there is no other way. They need to support a filibuster carve out for voting rights.
Schumer is setting the stage for the make or break move, and the best thing that Republicans could do for those who want filibuster reform is to block debate on the Freedom To Vote Act.
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