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‘We’ll Lose Our Majority’: Schumer Hints At Why Democrats Seem So Desperate To Scrap The Filibuster
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Schumer and the Senate Democrats spoke about their party's push to pass election reform and voting rights legislation. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared to say the quiet part out loud during a Wednesday morning appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Schumer told host Willie Geist that a number of Democrats were concerned that Republican-led voter integrity measures could cost them their individual seats in Congress and could ultimately cost the Democratic Party its majority — and they were using that argument to put pressure on Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to kill the filibuster.

Schumer argued that the federal elections overhaul proposed in the Democrats’ “voting rights” bill was too important, suggesting that Republican efforts to stop it lined up with the “way that societies lose democracy.”

“We had two professors … come yesterday, and they showed across the world how democracies die. I think that’s the name of their book,” Schumer began. “When a political party countenances violence or doesn’t condemn it, number one. Two, won’t admit they lost fairly and squarely. And three, breaks all the norms, like McConnell did when he held up Merrick Garland. That, they believe, is a way that societies lose democracy. The Republican Party, its grand history gone with the obeisance to Donald Trump, is heading in that direction.”

“Leader Schumer, good morning. We understand your sense of urgency. We heard the sense of urgency from the president yesterday down in Atlanta on the issue of voting rights. You’ve made the case. Now there’s the practical question of how you get it done,” Geist pressed, noting that even just one day earlier Manchin had reiterated his stance — firmly against scrapping the filibuster. “So have you conceded that Joe Manchin will not get rid of the filibuster as he has said many many times? And if you have, how do you get voting rights through?”

“Well, we’re not conceding anything. This is too important to just concede,” Schumer replied.

“Do you think you can convince Senator Manchin?”

Schumer went on to say that the strategy included multiple meetings with Manchin and Sinema.

“There are constant meetings. Not just among a few senators, but just about every senator, every single one of the 50, is talking individually to Joe Manchin, to Kyrsten Sinema. They’re saying things like, ‘I’ll lose my election if the legislature is allowed to do this in my state. We’ll lose our majority but, more importantly, we’ll lose our democracy.’ And those speakers yesterday I mentioned were very powerful. So we’re having constant discussions.”

Schumer concluded by saying that there were a number of senators who did not support getting rid of the filibuster completely but were willing to discuss specific carveouts for issues like voting rights, adding, “We’re actively discussing potential changes in the rules that hopefully can get all 50 of us there. Do I want to delude people and think it’s easy or almost there? No. It’s an uphill fight. But we’re constantly at it. Manchin and Sinema are still talking to us, all of us, on a very regular intense basis, and we are going to keep fighting and pushing in hopes that we can get this done. It is too important to drop.”

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