Monday, January 24, 2022

Nancy Pelosi says the House of Representatives will pass a bill today that would combine both Congressional voting rights measures

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President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. Senate should consider repealing a long-running majority rule known as a “filibuster” if necessary to pass a Republican-opposed right to vote.

For Biden, who has defended the rule for 36 years as a senator, this is a surprising move. But he believes the current threat to democracy is so serious that Congress must pass either the Freedom of Voting Act or John Lewis Act to increase voting rights without Republican support.

“I think the threat to our democracy is so serious that we need to find a way to pass bills on the right to vote,” he said in a speech in Atlanta. Discuss them. Voting. Let the majority prevail – and if this is minimally blocked, we have no choice but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for it.

Critics say the “phylumuster” that 60 of the 100 senators must agree on by a majority law is an anti-democratic barrier to Washington’s ability to address pressing issues.

Proponents argue that this will force lawmakers to seek consensus, serve as an important scrutiny of the ruling party, and ensure that key laws that affect American life do not change radically in every election.

Once a rare filibuster, it is now routinely called. In recent months, Republicans have used it to block voting rights bills and bring the United States closer to a level that threatens debt default.

Democrats could use their razor-sharp majority in the Senate to completely eradicate Philipuster.

But centrist senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema opposed the move, saying winning a majority in the Nov. 8 midterm elections would give Republicans freedom and break the remaining two-party ties.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has warned his party could use other methods to suspend the chamber if the filibuster is eliminated.

WHAT IS A PHILIBUSTER? THE TERM FROM THE CARIBBEAN PIRATES “SPEAKING TO DEATH”

Unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate was formed to allow unlimited debate. In the 19th century, legislators developed the Philippuster – a word derived from Dutch and Spanish terms for pirates in the Caribbean – as a way of speaking the bill to the point of death.

Democrat Sen. Strom Thurmond at the time set a record when he spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes to block a major civil rights bill. In 2016, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy spoke for more than 21 hours to demand a 15-hour gun control bill, while Republican Sen. Ted Cruz spoke for more than 21 hours to protest President Barack Obama’s 2013 Supplemental Services Act. None of these attempts were successful.

The senators agreed in 1917 that a two-thirds majority vote could end the debate on a particular bill. That majority was reduced to three-fifths of the Senate in 1975, now 60 senators.

Under current rules, senators don’t have to talk to get a job done – they just have to register their objections to start a filibuster.

As Democrats and Republicans have become more politically polarized over the past 50 years, the number of Philipists has increased dramatically. From 1969 to 1970, there were six votes to beat Philip, the closest trusted proxy. There were 298 such votes in the 2019-2020 legislative session.

WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM FOR DEMOCRATS?

Democrats control 50 seats in the Senate, allowing them to win a majority with a 51st vote when Vice President Kamala Harris needs it. If at least 10 Republicans don’t vote with them, they can’t beat the Philippians.

Democrats have managed to circumvent the filibuster to implement Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 incentive plan through a special process called “compromise,” which only requires a simple majority for certain budget projects. . However, this process is subject to complex constraints and cannot be used on a regular basis.

Republicans blocked many other Democratic priorities, but 19 of them voted for a $ 1 trillion package to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

CAN THE PHILIBUSTER BE CHANGED?

The changes have already happened.

In 2013, Democrats removed the 60-vote threshold for a majority of candidates for administrative positions outside the Supreme Court, allowing them to advance by a simple majority.

In 2017, Republicans did the same for Supreme Court candidates. The 2013 and 2017 Senate rules were amended by a simple majority.

Some Democrats have called for the Philippians to be completely eliminated, but they don’t have the 50 votes needed to take that step.

Democrats are planning to vote next week to cut the filibuster so it doesn’t apply to voting laws. But it’s not clear if they have a voice for it either; Last week, Manchin said he would prefer to buy Republicans for the change.

On Sunday, he urged senators to continue talking in the Senate, saying he could support making the tactic more “painful.”

Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate, has long backed the Philippuster, but has been more open to change as Republicans have blocked several of his key initiatives over the past year.

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