Democratic leaders have found a mechanism to bypass an early Republican filibuster and enable them to debate party-wide election reform bills, according to a new leadership memo obtained by Nerdshala.
Why this matters: The strategy is the latest example of how Democrats are looking for new ways to try to circumvent Senate processes that are blocking their agenda. But the end result is likely to be the same: insufficient support to change the 60-vote limit needed to pass comprehensive voting rights reforms.
Running news: In the coming days, NASA is expected to consider an amendment related to leasing “underused” assets to private groups. Democratic leaders are referring to it as a “shell bill.”
- It would then remove that law from its existing language and replace it with the text of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
- The House would then pass the updated bill and send it to the Senate as a “message.” Then, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) will file a motion for concurrence with the House amendment.
Between the lines: This would allow the Senate – for the first time – to quickly pick up the bill and debate it on the floor.
- So far, every time Schumer has tried to bring both election bills, Republicans have prevented it from being debated by opposing the Clotter vote on the proposal to go ahead.
Noteworthy: This winning process is similar to the strategy Congress used last month to quickly and eventually pass debt limit increases and avoid default.
Be smart: Despite this new strategy, the Senate would still need to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts to reduce the 60-vote filibuster, in the face of Republicans’ outright opposition to the bills.
- But Sens. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Kirsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are against going nuclear on Filibuster to do so, which means the bill is likely to fail.
- The battle to replace or sideline Filbuster will now take place when Schumer moves to end the debate on the law.
- Meetings are underway this week between leading Senate Democrats, Munchkin and Cinema on a possible way to change Senate rules.
What are they saying: “By taking advantage of this current exception to Senate supremacy requirements, we will allow Republicans to eliminate their ability to block debate on voting rights legislation,” Schumer said in the memo to Senate Democrats.
- “The Senate will eventually debate the voting rights legislation, and then each senator will be faced with the choice of whether or not to pass legislation to protect our democracy.”
- “Of course, in order to eventually end the debate and pass the voting rights law, we’ll need 10 Republicans to get involved — which we know from past experience won’t happen — or we’ll need to change Senate rules. As has been done many times before.”
What will happen next: The House is expected to vote on the “shell bill” early tomorrow, and then the Senate will consider the bill immediately.
- That changes their goal of voting on a package of Senate rules that would allow Democrats to bypass the filibuster and pass voting reforms on Jan. 17 or Jan. 17, his team says. .