Schumer Will Propose 'Talking Filibuster' in Bid to Get Manchin On Board Voting Bill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will hold a vote on Wednesday to change Senate rules to allow for a “talking filibuster” on the two election overhaul bills that Democrats want to pass.

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The bills would federalize elections and throw out several ballot integrity measures passed by Republicans in the wake of the 2020 election.

A “talking filibuster” would replace the 60-vote rule that required 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor for a vote. The talking filibuster would force opponents of a bill to hold the floor indefinitely by speaking for hours on end, as long as the Senate was in session.

In the past, a small group of Senators could delay legislation for weeks by taking turns holding the floor. They did so in some unique ways. Senate rules allow a member who holds the floor to talk about anything they please, so Senators would read from the phone book, the encyclopedia, the Federal Register, even their grandmother’s recipes just to maintain control of the debate.

Eventually, the Senate changed the rules to the 60-vote threshold because nothing was getting done. But Schumer’s threat to bring back a talking filibuster is a bunch of hot air. Even if he did, there are plenty of signs that his voting bills wouldn’t pass anyway.

Related: McConnell Destroys Joe Biden on Senate Floor

Fox News:

“If the Republicans block cloture on the legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday after a meeting with Senate Democrats to discuss a path forward for the legislation. “Historically, changes to the Senate rules have been necessary to adapt to a change [in] circumstances.”

Standing in the way of the Democratic effort to eliminate the legislative filibuster is a united Republican opposition in addition to Manchin and Sinema, making it all but impossible to pass a change in Senate rules that could push the election overhaul legislation past the finish line.

Both Manchin and Sinema have resisted their party’s push to do away with the filibuster in recent weeks and are still opposed to the plan to implement a talking filibuster, Fox News’s Chad Pergram reported Tuesday.

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Both Schumer and President Biden know that the effort to pass their electoral overhaul will fail. But the Democratic leadership also knows that the most vocal advocates of their largest constituency — black Americans — are threatening to undermine Democratic efforts to maintain their majorities in the House and Senate.

In truth, the activists can’t threaten to bolt the party. It’s not credible. But they can make life very uncomfortable for Democrats running in close races. And in some states, their lack of enthusiasm would cost Democrats dearly.

Schumer and Biden are facing the same dilemma they faced with passing the Build Back Better bill; not all 50 Senate Democrats are on board.

Washington Examiner:

Other Senate Democrats from swing states are uncomfortable with changes or have remained vague, including Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, who is up for reelection in November.

Schumer dismissed the holdouts in his own party — even though they will ultimately prevent the rules change.

“The vast majority of our caucus strongly disagrees with Sen. Manchin and Sinema on rules changes,” Schumer said. “The overwhelming majority of our caucus knows that if you’re going to try to rely on Republican votes, you will get zero progress on voting rights right now. Zero.”

The numbers just aren’t there for Schumer and he knows it.

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The stink of desperation is rising from the Democrat’s side of the aisle and it isn’t pretty. One advocacy group is demanding Democrats “hold the floor until the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is passed.” That’s not going to happen, and it’s driving the radical left crazy that they can’t exercise the kind of control they want.

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