Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Senate would consider changes to the filibuster on or before MLK Day (January 17).
Schumer wrote in a dear colleague letter provided to PoliticusUSA:
We must adapt. The Senate must evolve like it has many times before. The Senate was designed to evolve and has developed many times in our history. As former Senator Robert Byrd famously said, Senate Rules “must be changed to reflect changed circumstances.” Put more plainly by Senator Byrd, “Congress is not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past.”
The fight for the ballot is as old as the Republic. Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy. We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.
The Rubber Is About To Hit The Road For Senate Democrats And Voting Rights
After a year of trying to get voting rights passed, Senate Democrats are about to attempt to make substantial changes to the filibuster. It is debatable as to whether the best course of action is to get a filibuster carve out for voting rights, or if Democrats should structurally change the filibuster to make it more difficult for Republicans to block legislation.
Within two weeks, one suspects that something will be done. While Manchin and Sinema oppose ending the filibuster, they have expressed openness to reforming it.
Majority Leader Schumer would not be making this move if he didn’t have the votes to do something. Just like his mentor, Harry Reid, Schumer has spent a year breaking down Democratic resistance to filibuster reform, and now it is time to get something done.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association