Thursday, August 18th, 2022

Frustration grows among Democrats, Biden, over threat filibuster poses to democracy

Frustration grows among Democrats, Biden, over threat filibuster poses to democracy

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The White House followed those remarks up on Friday, when Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters to “stay tuned” on what changes Biden would advocate. Biden, she said, believes “we are at an inflection point on a range of issues” and that “not getting voting rights done is not an option.” Nor is not raising the debt ceiling, as he pointed out in the town hall on Thursday. “I think the president will have more to say about this in the coming weeks,” she added.

Maybe that’s why Manchin came out of the gates Monday declaring all the things he still won’t accept in Biden’s big plan. If he can just keep on moving those goalposts, he won’t have to face filibuster reform and add even more fuel to his colleagues’ smoldering rage against him. Because his colleagues are getting pretty fed up.

A one-time anti-reform senator Manchin should related to, Maine Independent Angus King, is ready. “I’ve concluded that democracy itself is more important than any Senate rule,” he said last week after Republicans, again, blocked a voting rights and election reform bill, the Freedom to Vote Act Manchin worked on with Democrats and King.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, King added: “I think what I’m not really ready to say is, let’s get rid of [the filibuster] altogether because I think there are circumstances where it makes sense. So I prefer some alternative to what the present rule is. I’d like to restore the Senate to what it was, where we actually had debates and people had to hold the floor.”

“One of the problems now is [the minority] don’t even have to show up,” he added. “They don’t have to speak, they don’t have to do anything. It just sort of becomes an automatic supermajority requirement, which isn’t in the Constitution, and the framers were diametrically opposed to that concept.” That’s a theme Democrats are leaning on more and more lately—that the traditional, conservative, patriotic thing to do is restore the Senate. Here’s Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:

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“Members of this body now face a choice—they can follow in the footsteps of our patriotic predecessors in this chamber,” Schumer said. “Or they can sit by as the fabric of our democracy unravels before our very eyes.” And by “members,” he’s saying, “Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.”

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