“Defenders of democracy in America still have a thin window of opportunity to act. But time is running out, and midnight is coming,” according to more than 150 top scholars of American democracy, provisionally to the Senate filibuster. A new push to suspend and pass the protection of voting rights on a simple majority vote.
Running news: His unified front comes amid a short break in legislative action on Capitol Hill, coinciding with the start of the Thanksgiving holiday and the House’s passage of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending package.
- When Congress returns, it will be scrambling to avert government shutdowns, raise debt limits, and pass the annual Defense Authorization Bill.
- And Democrats may be trying to keep the BBB alive in the Senate, where just one skeptic in their bare-majority ranks—such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia—could have the power to overwhelm.
What are they saying: The group says in its public letter that those challenges should not distract from the urgency of passing the Compromise Freedom Act before the midterm elections begin.
- Written by scholars from Duke to Stanford universities, it touches on former President Trump’s “Big Lie” and some GOP efforts to empower political officials to reverse legitimate election results.
- “The partisan politicization of what has long been trusted, the non-partisan administration of elections represents a clear and present threat to the future of electoral democracy in the United States.”
- The letter said doing nothing would undermine free and fair elections and “result in an extended period of minority rule, which most of the country would dismiss as undemocratic and illegitimate.”
Between the lines: Munchkin is the only senator who can decide whether Democrats suspend the legislative filibuster, at least in this one case.
- The Freedom to Vote Act was actually Munchkin’s answer to voting rights expansion by Democrats. But Republicans used filibuster last month to block their agreement from going forward.
- The bill included provisions to make Election Day a public holiday, allow same-day voter registration at all polling places by 2024, and ensure voting at least 15 days in advance for federal elections.
- Munchkin has been an active defender of Filibuster. But the Democrats cannot pass the bill with a simple majority unless they suspend the rule.