Democrats are currently facing somewhat of a stress test over the filibuster which has been triggered by a high-priority bill that has been in the works to remake US election laws. While Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have been some of the most vocal in their opposition of the rewriting of these voting laws, they’re definitely not alone.
Several other Democrats have indicated in separate interviews that they would be reluctant to kill the filibuster or that they would prefer to make reforms to current laws instead of a total rewrite.
Liberal Democrats have made it clear that they’re anti-filibuster, however, due to the 60-vote rule on the Senate floor, not much progress has been made. Senator Mark Kelly has claimed to be noncommittal on changing the rules and spoke with the press about these tensions.
“What I’m open to is considering and looking at any proposed changes in the rules. And I will ultimately make a decision based on: Do I feel — is this in the best interest of the state of Arizona and the country? And I’m not looking for something that is in the best interest of just Democrats.”
“I have talked about the importance of reforming it. I think it’s critically important that it not be abused and I think that we are having these discussions right now,” Senator Maggie Hassan said in support of reform.
If the voting bill is passed it would undo restrictive voting laws that are in Republican-led states and instead establish universal requirements for all.
When Senator John Hickenlooper was asked if he’s supportive of preserving the filibuster he claimed: “I am still in that place. But I think, like a lot of people, I’m having frequent conversations. I get my advice from other governors, like former Governor Phil Bredesen, who was talking about how it hasn’t been a thing to help the minority get their voice heard, it’s become a tool just for obstruction.”
“There are clearly a number of senators who are reluctant to change the rules but who have also made it clear in recent months that they are frustrated with the status quo and won’t accept inaction forever.”
“So we are very hopeful that once the caucus makes a decision and has Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema on board, that the rest of the caucus will be on board and make the changes necessary to make the Senate work,” said former Democratic leadership aide Eli Zupnick.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that “all Republicans will oppose the voting bill in its current form, even with changes Manchin has proposed seeking compromise. This would federalize elections and shift control of the process away from the states.
Democrats are continuing to fight to change these laws to allow for a more universal understanding of how elections should run.
“What we are talking about isn’t just Senate procedure, it’s a complete takeover of our elections, which will ultimately destroy the American people’s confidence in fair elections,” said Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.