The Filibuster Could Be The Revival Of Build Back Better

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 23 December 2021 08:35
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On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. said Democrats have "lots of ways" to enact two voting rights bills — including by revising the rules overseeing a filibuster.

In an interview with SiriusXM's Joe Madison on "The Black Eagle" on Senate action for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Schumer compared the bills to preventive measures taken to avert a fire.

"Raphael Warnock said it best," Schumer said. "[Democrat] Sen. Warnock of Georgia, our first African American Senator ever from Georgia … he put it this way. He said the Freedom to Vote Act is when your house is on fire and they send a fire truck over and put the fire out. John Lewis Voting Rights Act is you build a first-class firehouse in your neighborhood so the fire doesn't occur again."

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Schumer declared "we gotta pass both of them" — and hinted that support from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will be key.

"Every one of the 50 [Democrat] Senators supports the bill, but we'll never get Republicans," Schumer said. "And we've proven that to Joe Manchin and everybody else because we gave Joe a couple of months, and said, 'hey, we have a bill, all Democrats support, including you' but we couldn't get Republicans."

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According to Schumer, though some Democrats "think the filibuster is a turkey," it has been "changed in many ways" over the years.

"Joe Manchin has said he doesn't want to abolish the filibuster," Schumer said.

"So we have said, okay, there are other ways to change the rules where we could still only need 50 votes to pass both voting bills, '' Schumer added. "There are lots of ways to do it."

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Schumer stressed the late former West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd was "the mentor of Joe Manchin" and "changed the rules I think it is nine times because he said …'when circumstances change, the rules have to change.'"

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"So there are things we can propose," Schumer asserted. "We can propose a talking filibuster. Let him talk for a period of time, but then we close it with 50 votes."

"We could say, okay, we guarantee — I would as majority leader guarantee — that there'd be a whole number of Republican amendments allowed on the floor, but then we close the debate with 50 votes," he added.

"There are various rules changes that are not abolishing the filibuster that would allow us to get to our goal. And as we speak, there are members, the rules committee and others exploring this with Joe Manchin."

Manchin has become a central issue in the Senate in recent days due to his decision not to back President Joe Biden's signature Build Back Better social spending and climate change legislation.

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