Senate Democrats to test filibuster in June with electoral reform and equal pay legislation
SEnat Democrats will put the filibuster to the test in June with a series of major political laws the GOP is set to block.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Friday he lacked patience with Republicans and the 60-vote threshold required for most laws to pass.
“Democrats are doing everything in their power to come up with bipartisan legislation when we can when the opportunity arises,” said the New York Democrat. “But we won’t wait months and months to pass meaningful legislation that works for the American people.”
Republicans obstructed the first major bill under a Democratic Senate majority when GOP lawmakers voted on Friday to block the creation of a commission to study the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill. They also blocked a bipartisan move to make the United States more competitive with China.
He’s unlikely to be the last filibuster unless Democrats take action to lower the threshold for passing legislation from 60 votes to a simple majority of 51 votes.
“I think the events of the last few days have probably made every member of our caucus realize that many of our fellow Republican are unwilling to work with us on a large number of issues – even issues where we are trying to figure it out. ‘be bipartisan,’ Schumer mentioned.
When Democrats return in the week of June 7, Schumer will present a measure passed by the House to ensure that men and women get equal pay for equal work. The House passed the measure in April with a single Republicans vote, and the GOP is unlikely to provide the 10 votes needed to clear the Senate obstruction threshold.
Schumer said he would also introduce a major election and voting reform bill that Republicans unilaterally oppose, saying it would increase voter fraud and ensure Democrats an advantage in future elections.
The Senate will also vote for a sweeping gay and transgender rights bill that amends civil rights law to protect people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He passed the House with just three GOP votes, and he faces similar Republican opposition in the Senate.
Schumer declined to say that impending GOP buccaneers would push Democrats to end the tradition of the Senate, but said it would be taken into account.
“Everything will be on the table,” the senator told reporters.
Schumer sent a note to fellow Democrats on Friday, moments after Republicans blocked the Senate from passing legislation that would have created an independent bipartisan commission to study the Jan.6 riot on the U.S. Capitol.
Republicans rejected the commission, citing the Justice Department’s arrests and Senate committee inquiries, as well as fears it might be politically militarized by Democrats to tie the GOP to those rioting on Capitol Hill.
But Schumer pointed to the GOP’s obstruction of commission legislation as an indication that it may be time to abandon efforts to win bipartisanship and bypass Republicans by ending the legislative threshold of 60 votes.
Republicans have also delayed action on a bipartisan bill aimed at increasing America’s competitiveness against China. The bill looked set to be passed Thursday or Friday, but several Republicans blocked it because they wanted more of their amendments added.
“We have seen the limits of two-party politics and the resurgence of Republican obstructionism,” Schumer said on Friday.
The Senate majority leader will need the cooperation of the 50 Democrats to end the filibuster. A small group of Democrats do not support the removal of filibuster, led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has instead advocated two-party politics.
Democrats can avoid filibuster by using a budget tactic that allows them to pass certain laws with just 51 votes. Schumer is considering whether to employ such a tactic to pass a major infrastructure bill that is being negotiated between the two parties.
“We’re trying to work with Republicans where we can, but we need big, bold action, and reconciliation is definitely a serious consideration to get that big, bold action if we can’t get it with Republicans. “said Schumer.
Republicans are expected to discuss a new round of infrastructure proposals next week with President Joe Biden, who remains eager to strike a deal with the GOP.
Biden’s latest infrastructure proposal would cost $ 1.7 trillion and include $ 400 billion in senior care and $ 100 billion in electric vehicle tax credits. Republicans have proposed a $ 928 billion infrastructure package that sticks to roads, bridges, waterways and broadband improvements.
Keywords: News, Congress, Chuck Schumer, Senate, filibuster, infrastructure, budgets and deficits, US Capitol Building, riots, China
Original author: Susan ferrechio
Original location: Senate Democrats to test filibuster in June with electoral reform and equal pay legislation