Democracy is dying… The plug will be pulled soon now.
The vote on the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act was 49-51. The vote broke evenly along party lines, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer switched his vote to “no” in the end for procedural reasons. It fell short of the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster under Senate rules.
Senate Democratic leaders now turn to a planned effort to change the rules, impose a “talking filibuster” and ultimately pass the legislation without Republicans once debate ends,
The vote is set to be followed by an attempt by Senate Democratic leaders to change that 60-vote rule, impose a “talking filibuster” and ultimately pass the legislation without Republicans once debate ends.
That effort, which is expected later Wednesday night and would require only 50 votes, is also expected to fail.
Still, Schumer has been determined to force the vote and put every senator on the record for what he says is a defining moment for democracy. Vice President Kamala Harris arrived on Capitol Hill after sundown to preside over the debate.
“I believe that voting rights are more important than a procedural rule,” said freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., whose victory in Georgia last year helped give Democrats control of the chamber.
On Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., took to the floor to reiterate his support for the 60-vote threshold to pass most bills. He said he’s a proud cosponsor of the two voting rights measures but opposes a rule change to pass them.
“I have not — and will never — waver on this,” he said, arguing that curtailing the filibuster would pour “fuel on the fire of political whiplash and dysfunction that is tearing our nation apart.”