Politics

James Clyburn pleads with him to scrap filibuster for election reform

Congressman James Clyburn is still fighting for the Democratic party to counter the Republicans voter suppression tactics by asking President Joe Biden to “endorse” the concept of creating a carveout to the legislative filibuster. During an interview with Politico, the South Carolina congressman staed Biden could help rally the support of Democratic senators who’re against making changes to filibuster rules, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

Clyburn says the president could “pick up the phone and tell Joe Manchin, ‘Hey, we should do a carve-out.’” Clyburn added, “I don’t care whether he does it in a microphone or on the telephone — just do it.”

The filibuster has been criticized as a “Jim Crow relic,” requires 60 votes in the Senate just to bring a bill to the floor. A “carveout” is a rules changer providing that legislation that concerns elections or voting rights is not subject to the filibuster rule. however, can be brought to the floor by a simple majority. This particular carveout would refer to voting rights legislation, however, it has been used in the past for presidential appointments.

Clyburn has made it clear that if election reform doesn’t get signed into law by President Biden, “Democrats can kiss the majority goodbye.”

“I can see in a state like Georgia — where people stepped up in January in a way nobody thought they ever would — I can see the disappointment in the voters to the extent that [Sen. Rafael] Warnock would not be back,” the longtime representative said.

Legislators and voting rights advocates are offering more dire warnings about not just the fate of the Democratic majority, but the future of America’s democracy if Republican-led states are allowed to continue to pass restrictive voter laws that disproportionately affect minorities.

In the report, Pennsylvania Rep. Madeleine Dean noted that there is a “legislative fix” to get the bills passed, referring to the carveout. “I hope the president will do that — as I said, I think the filibuster should be removed unless it was actually used for debate that furthers conversation about things,” she said. “But I hope the president will lead on this.”

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