South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, one of President Joe Biden’s main allies in Congress, urges him to push for major changes to Senate filibuster rules – for without swift passage of the bill. Democrats Electoral Reform Act, the party “can say goodbye to the majority.” . “
“I don’t care if he does it into a microphone or on the phone, do it,” Clyburn, the House Majority Whip, told Politico on Saturday.
Clyburn pitched the idea that Senate Democrats could change the obstruction – which requires 60 votes to end debate on most measures and move them to a final ascending or descending vote – to pass bills carrying on constitutional rights by simple majority.
This exclusion would allow Democrats to pass the long-awaited For the People Act, a sweeping move that would rewrite hundreds of state election laws in one fell swoop.
Senate Republicans blocked the bill last month – and House Dems’ concern about the opposition’s ability to thwart their electoral plans is growing.
The package passed by the House aims to “expand access” to polling stations, end gerrymandering and require states to offer same-day postal ballots and voter registration.
But the party’s slim majority in the Senate – the 50-50 balance requires the unanimity of Democrats as well as the decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris – means that every Dem, including moderates like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, must be on board for a filibuster change to pass.
Biden is traveling to Philadelphia on Tuesday to deliver what the White House has called a major speech on his “actions to protect the sacred and constitutional right to vote” – an attempt to influence public opinion behind his party’s electoral wishes.