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House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said Democrats would find a way to “get around” the filibuster in order to pass their preferred federal voting legislation.
Clyburn made the comments to “Axios on HBO,” telling the program that passing the Democrats’ desired legislation “may require some jiu-jitsu, but that’s not beyond the Senate to do that.”
“They’ll come up with some way to get around it,” Clyburn added. “We had better come up with some way to get around it, because this democracy is teetering on collapse.”
Several bills supported by Democrats have passed the House but stalled in the Senate, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Another bill, the For the People Act, failed to pass the Senate over the summer.
“We will find a way to get these voting rights bills passed,” Clyburn told Axios.
The bills pushed by Democrats wouldn’t simply uphold voting rights, but enshrine new rights that Republicans say would ensure Democrats would never lose another election. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, for example, would undo a Supreme Court decision that determined the federal government could not oversee certain states’ voting laws based on decades-old racism claims. Democrats want to restore the federal government’s control over state voting rules, particularly rules they claim keep people from voting.
Democrats particularly want to go after laws like what was passed in Georgia, even though numerous states have similar laws in place. Democrats compared the Georgia elections law, passed earlier this year, to past Jim Crow laws, even though fact checkers determined the law actually expanded access to the polls. Democrats make the claim any time Republicans try to include provisions ensuring voters prove who they are by showing identification. Democrats claim this disenfranchises voters, and insist that black people in particular can’t easily get identification, even though this thinking infantilizes the very people Democrats claim to care about. As Ami Horowitz showed years ago, black people have no trouble getting an ID to vote.
Democrats’ other legislation, the Freedom to Vote Act, would ensure the expanded voting rules put in place for COVID-19 – like mail-in ballots – remain permanently.
Axios also reported that some Senate Democrats have been working privately to get Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to help the party change Senate rules to get progressive legislation passed. Democrats have insisted these rule changes wouldn’t end the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass legislation.
Democrats seem to forget that they did not have much of a mandate after winning control of the White House in 2020. The Senate is evenly divided, with Vice President Kamala Harris deciding ties, essentially putting control of the upper chamber in Democrat hands. Democrats have a slim majority in the House, yet the bills they are intent on passing are not what Americans care about most; they are simply progressive wish lists.