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The White House on Monday opened the door to a reconsideration of disruption – an issue hotly contested across political lines – paving the way for a bitter fight in Congress to weed out the controversial debate tactic.
Asked about Tuesday’s Senate debate on the Voting Rights Act, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “In terms of disruption, I don’t think you have to take it from us, Congress is going to go ahead — or make a decision. If tomorrow’s vote doesn’t work. We doubt it will lead to a new conversation about the path forward. We’ll see where that goes.”
Stalling is a longstanding practice in the Senate used to delay a proposed law from being brought to a vote — a tactic that has gained momentum over the past 10 years. It has only been used once so far this session, to prevent a bipartisan committee vote on January 6.
Voting rights bill in the center
On Tuesday, Senate Democrats will begin the debate to seek sweeping reforms to existing voting laws. The motion is called a law for the people.
The bill comes as Republican-led states across the country seek to implement a number of restrictive voting measures that could significantly limit the ability of minorities and low-income Americans to cast their ballots. Republicans defend these measures as necessary to protect the security of US elections.
After President Biden’s 2020 presidential victory, Republicans, at the invitation of former President Donald Trump, launched a smear campaign, falsely claiming voting irregularities were the cause of their defeat in the White House.
In order for the party to successfully introduce the voting rights bill, Democrats must vote on affirmative support for the measure and have the support of 10 Republicans in the Senate. Some Democrats and outside advocates say that without any potential support for GOP senators, Democratic leaders should change Senate rules — eliminating disruption, which requires 60 votes to end the debate.
Moderates in the party — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona — opposed both measures, leading to a major internal struggle among Democrats over next steps.
Where does Biden stand?
Biden himself, a former senator, endorsed him in March Change the breaker to “what it was before,” which is to ask senators to take the floor and speak without interruption in order to delay the vote.
In spite of common misconceptionAs now, a Senate staffer can email to record a senator’s objection and raise the 60-vote requirement to submit a bill to a final vote up or down—without having to make a speech or other effort.
Minority Senate Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Beware of a logistical nightmare If those rules were changed and lawmakers were constantly required to be physically present at the Capitol. In addition, he said, when Republicans regain majority control of the Chamber, “we will not be content with erasing every liberal change that harms the country. We will strengthen America with all kinds of conservative policies without any interference from the other side.”
Even with Biden’s signing, Democrats were unable to reach a unanimous agreement on reforming voting rights or disablement.
Vice President Harris has been chosen to lead the administration’s strategy on voting rights but has not yet made concrete steps on the issue.
President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president and remains a popular figure among Democrats, on Monday voiced support for obstruction reform during a conference call with voting rights activists and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Unfortunately, for now at least, Senate Republicans are now lining up to try and use stalling to prevent even discussion of a bill for the people,” Obama said.
Think about this: In the aftermath of the insurgency, with our democracy at stake, and many of the same Republican senators going along with the idea that somehow there were irregularities and problems with legitimacy in our last election — they suddenly became afraid to even talk about these issues and discover solutions on their own. Senate floor. They don’t even want to talk about the vote,” he said, referring to January 6 insurgency In the US Capitol Building.
“this is unacceptable”.