WASHINGTON – Shocked by Republicans over the voting rights law, Senator Chuck Schumer on Monday made a clear indication that he would consider Senate rules if necessary to enact federal laws to offset voting restrictions being imposed by Republican-led legislatures. Will try to implement a fundamental change in Country.
In a letter to aides, Schumer, a New York Democrat and majority leader, said the Senate would lift the stalled voting rights law as early as the first week of January and that the Senate would “consider” if Republicans continue to filibuster. Any rule change that prevents us from debating important legislation and reaching a final conclusion.”
But it’s unclear how willing or able Democrats will be to work around the 60-vote requirement for most legislation and find a way to pass voting rights legislation with a simple majority. While many previously reluctant senators have supported changes to the rules for voting issues in recent weeks, at least two Democratic senators – Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona – have opposed.
Concerned over the enactment of state laws after the 2020 election aimed at making it more difficult for people, especially minorities, to vote, Democrats have tried repeatedly this year to try and replace early and mail-in voting. To set federal standards and curb favoritism. Gerrymandering among other provisions. But he has been thwarted by frequent Republican blockades.
So far, Democrats have not pressed the issue. But Mr Schumer’s new stance shows he is ready to take the next step and start a rules battle on the Senate floor, although he still lacks the 50 Democratic votes needed to drive change on the Republican opposition.
Mr Schumer’s move is intended to change the tempo of the debate and put new pressure on his allies to support change. Mr Schumer’s dismay said in his letter that it was unfair to let states set new rules through partisan majority votes while Republicans were blocking the Senate from doing so.
“I would ask you to consider this question,” he wrote. “If the right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, how can we in good conscience allow a situation in which the Republican Party with only a simple majority vote can debate voter suppression laws at the state level, but allow Can’t allow the United States Senate to do the same?”
Mr Schumer has said in the past primarily that “all options are on the table” when it comes to suppressing voting rights legislation, avoiding a direct threat to Senate rules.
A group of more liberal Senate Democrats are engaged in talks with Mr Manchin and Ms Cinema over a change in the rules and have reported some progress but no success. While Mr Manchin on Sunday tore down Democratic plans to push for a broader social policy and climate change bill, he opened the door to possible changes to Senate rules.
“If you can make the Senate work better, the rules are something we’ve changed over the years; 232 years, there have been rules changes,” Manchin said on Fox News on Sunday. But he also suggested he might be interested in more minor changes than Schumer and others, saying he would continue to support the 60-vote, ultra-majority limit to ward off a filibuster.
Ms Cinema has also drawn a line against partisan changes to the rules, but Democrats say they believe she would not want to be the lone holdout if Manchin was persuaded to rely on a legislative filibuster.
Democrats knowledgeable about internal deliberations say several possible changes are being considered, including weakening the filibuster against an initial “proposition to go ahead” to get the legislation on the floor for consideration. But in a more significant move, Democrats say they are also discussing a change that would guarantee opponents the opportunity to change the law through a significant number of amendments after a simple majority vote. This will clear the way for final action on the bill.
Instituting such a change would require the support of all 50 Democrats and a 50-50 vote by Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie in the Senate.
Democrats say such a “carve out” would only apply to issues based on constitutional rights such as voting, but Republicans and others say it would inevitably extend to other laws, reducing the overall power of the filibuster. Will go
The Democratic voting rights and rule change push would meet universal resistance from Republicans. Kentucky Republican and Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell last week accused Democrats of “wielding the sword about changing the structure of the Senate” and commended Manchin for opposing it.
“Changing the Senate’s composition to gain a partisan advantage is a mistake for the Senate and a mistake for our country,” he said.
Once rarely used, filibuster has become a regular aspect of the Senate in recent decades and virtually all legislation now has to overcome the 60-vote barrier for floor debate, which has severely limited Which business can be taken.
Angered by Republicans regularly blocking President Barack Obama’s judicial candidates through filibusters, Democrats took procedural steps in 2013 to allow most candidates to be confirmed with a simple majority vote. Republicans expanded that rule for Supreme Court candidates in 2017 to enable President Donald Trump to install three high court justices.
In a statement in a letter directed to Mr Manchin, Mr Schumer noted that Senator Robert C. Byrd, a Senate veteran whose seat is occupied by Mr Manchin, said in 1979 that sometimes Senate rules that seem appropriate “must be changed to reflect the changed circumstance.”
“I believe that our constituents deserve to know which senators like to hide behind wrong and wrong rules and which senators to better align Senate floor procedures with the intentions of the founders.” Prefer to restore,” Mr Schumer wrote.