OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
As part of his speech on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia, President Biden will urge changes to Senate rules that will allow a simple majority to pass bills, including the Democrats’ “voting rights” legislation which is a power grab that will have the federal government run elections, not the states as the Constitution dictates. Kamala Harris will be joining Biden during his visit.
Biden will work to counter what Democrats say are Republican efforts to restrict minority voting rights. Without minority votes, Democrats would lose almost every election for federal office. Many believe that this is why the current administration has left the southern border wide open and is allowing illegal immigration to continue unchecked – because Democrats believe those who get into the country will one day vote for them. Also, Democrats in New York City have just passed a law that allows non-citizens to vote. The tide does appear to be turning on their plan, though, with recent polls suggesting that almost half of Hispanics are turning to the conservative Republican Party.
Biden plans to seek passage of legislation on voting rights, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
‘His plan is to sign voting rights legislation into law. That requires a majority of senators to support it … if there are changes to the Senate rules, which is something the President has expressed an openness to,’ Psaki said.
Georgia, a battleground state, saw Democrats pick up two Senate seats in the most recent election.
Psaki said of Atlanta, the home of Martin Luther King, it’s a ‘place with profound civil rights history.’
She confirmed that the president supports changing Senate rules, which currently require a majority of 60 senators to pass most bills, allowing the minority Republican party to block voting rights legislation.
‘The president will forcefully advocate for protecting the most bedrock American rights, the right to vote and have your voice counted in a free, fair and secure election that is not tainted, tainted, tainted by partisan manipulation,’ Psaki said.
Jen Psaki has a lot of nerve claiming the White House wants to make sure "every vote counts."
Biden and Schumer are trying to blow up the filibuster for bills that outlaw voter ID laws, gives taxpayer dollars to campaigns, and ballot harvesting. pic.twitter.com/hngqgmgjY6
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) January 10, 2022
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has set a deadline of January 17, on Martin Luther King Day, for approving the legislation.
Democrats Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, who represent states with more conservative views, have said, however, that they want to maintain the filibuster for its anti-partisan nature.
The GOP has said that they support the filibuster because it allows minority lawmakers to participate in policymaking.
Sen. Mitch McConnell said he will force votes on GOP-sponsored bills if Democrats do not make changes as he signaled his opposition on Monday afternoon.
‘Since Sen. Schumer is hellbent on trying to break the Senate, Republicans will show how this reckless action would have immediate consequences,” he told reporters.
Schumer fired shots at conservative during a speech to the upper chamber, warning, ‘If Republicans refuse to join us in a bipartisan spirit, if they continue to hijack the rules of the Senate to turn this chamber into a deep freezer, we’re going to consider the appropriate steps necessary to restore the Senate so we can pass these proposals and send them to the president’s desk.’
Biden once endorsed the status quo, however, he expressed frustration when his legislative agenda stalled as a result of the filibuster. According to him, now is the time to “fundamentally alter” the filibustering process. A number of senior Democrats are backing him.
Hillary Clinton, former presidential candidate and secretary of state, called for a change of the rules on Monday.
Quoting Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democrat president who signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965, Clinton posted on Twitter: ‘”The right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.”
‘It’s time Senate Democrats adjust the rules to protect Americans’ right to vote.’
Clinton has also gone so far as to suggest that it is time to do away with the filibuster altogether.
During the Atlantic Festival, when asked if she would get rid of it, she said, ‘Absolutely,’ pointing to how the Republican Party refused to vote for Merrick Garland – Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court in 2016.
‘Keeping the filibuster now, when you’re dealing with a political party that does not respect the rule of law, does not even respect the process unless it works for them, you know, witness what they did to Merrick Garland when President Obama had every right to appoint a Supreme Court justice.’
Manchin, a regular opponent of Biden’s legislative agenda, asked for caution on Monday as he said changing long-held Senate rules is not a good idea, indicating he has not given up on his opposition to doing away with the filibuster.
Democratic lawmakers have attempted to sway Manchin in an effort to change the rules for passing their “voting rights” legislation.
In spite of that, however, Manchin, whose opposition doomed Biden’s massive Build Back Better spending plan, stressed he remains opposed.
MANCHIN to @MacFarlaneNews
“We need some good rule changes to make the place work better but getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.” pic.twitter.com/s4y1HtS6WH
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 11, 2022
In his statement to Congressional reporters, he said the filibuster was ‘the tradition of the Senate here in 232 years now … ‘
‘We need to be very cautious what we do.’
‘I’m hoping that we can come to an agreement to fix things. Every American has the right to vote and should be protected.’
Fox News’s Chad Pergram reported that Manchin also stated: ‘That’s what we’ve always had for 232 years. That’s what makes us different than any place else in the world.’
Filibusters and the requirement that 60 senators must vote for “cloture” in order to end debate on bills have stalled Democratic efforts to pass legislation, allowing a Republican minority to block their bid to pass the “voting rights” bill. In 1964, Democrats used the filibuster to stop the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 60 business days.