Yet with centrist Sen. Joe Manchin and filibuster rules blocking liberal preferences, the only way for Biden to notch achievements before the 2022 midterm elections may be to disappoint the Left and convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to meet Republicans in the middle.
Democrats have to calculate the political price of "not fighting to the end" on top matters. And that involves the concept of rolling back Senate filibuster rules so the party can expand voter access with a simple majority, Donnie Fowler said.
"As a procedural issue that most voters don't have a lot of knowledge about, the political price to be paid for the filibuster probably is a very low price as long as the White House and the Democrats in Congress can pass policies that a lot of voters want to see," he said.
The path ahead may be to tinker with the filibuster instead of nixing it altogether, Fowler explained. He continued to explain that the other option is to tag Republicans as obstructionists before the 2022 election cycle.
If Democrats are to have any dream of holding on to power, "you need the middle and you need the base," he said.
Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, reiterated this month that he is not supporting eliminating the filibuster and S. 1, the sweeping Senate counterpart to H.R. 1, billed by Pelosi as the For the People Act. Democrats are clamoring for the electoral reforms to be in place by 2022, and Schumer is making efforts to bring S. 1 to the floor in June after the House cleared H.R. 1 in March.
In the same opinion piece, Manchin underscored his backing of narrower H.R. 4 or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. That measure would reintroduce a necessity that states with a history of restricting ballot access first get Justice Department approval before altering their laws.
In response, Pelosi has claimed that H.R. 4 is no substitute for H.R. 1. That is because many Democrats think H.R. 1 is the best remedy to election security legislation signed by Republican governors in some states, like Florida and Georgia, after former President Donald Trump's complaints about the 2020 contest. H.R. 1's provisions, for example, mandate nationwide mail-in voting, same-day voter registration, and at least two weeks of early voting.
Though even H.R. 4 faces obstacles in attracting a filibuster-proof 60 votes to end debate in the evenly divided Senate. Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the only Republican to endorse the proposal thus far.