The Senate debated the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act all day yesterday and well into the night. This is the latest effort by Democrats on Capitol Hill to take over election regulation, ensure Washington bureaucrats control election rules, violate donor privacy, infringe on First Amendment rights, fund campaigns with federal dollars, and entrench Democrat power for decades to come.
Contrary to claims by many Democrat senators, there has been no real effort to compromise with Republicans or actually legislate on election issues. Instead, this is the latest in a series of bills that are released in nearly final versions, rarely given hearings or markups, and pushed through on a partisan basis. As Senator Susan Collins pointed out, there are many Republicans who would be willing to consider actual voting rights legislation, but the Democrats' 735-page behemoth of liberal policies was not real voting rights legislation:
.@SenatorCollins brilliantly explained how comparing support for 2006 VRA reauthorization to mammoth 735-page Freedom to Vote: John Lewis elections takeover bill doesn't make any sense.— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022
Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer himself made clear that his rule to skirt the filibuster would not allow amendments. It was not actually about legislating but instead about ramming through a massive change:
.@SenSchumer inadvertently admitted one way ending the legislative filibuster is a problem. He just said no amendments allowed under his rule. He called them “dilatory.” How is no amendments debate? It is as @LeaderMcConnell said it is the majority ramming through legislation.— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022
In his usual understated but masterful way, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out that this was not about voting rights but about Democrats' power—and that America is fortunate that the effort failed:
.@LeaderMcConnell first time a Senate Majority Leader (@SenSchumer) has convinced his party to attack the institution of the Senate. “They are trying to shatter the soul of the Senate for short term power.”— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022
As @LeaderMcConnell said just now, America can breathe a sigh of relief because "radicalism" of Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act has been stopped. States remain free to protect the integrity of elections & increase voter confidence through commonsense rules like voter ID.— Lawyers Democracy (@lawyersdf) January 20, 2022
While Democrats claimed that this was a one-time carveout to the filibuster rules, Senator Blunt and many other Republicans pointed out that, in reality, the Democrats were trying to break the rules of the Senate to ram through a partisan bill:
.@RoyBlunt no one really believes this will be a voting rights carve out for the filibuster. This is an effort to end the legislative filibuster. This will end the Senate as we know it.— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022
But the effort to change the filibuster rules for this bill fizzled before it had barely even started. After the cloture vote, Vice President Harris quickly left, meaning that Senator Schumer's gambit would have failed even if Senators Manchin and Sinema had changed their minds and voted with him. But Senators Manchin and Sinema stuck by their word, even in the face of criticism and intimidation by their own supposed allies. They prevented Schumer from breaking the Senate rules to change the rules to make it illegal for states to run their own elections. We don't often praise Democratic Senators, but they deserve the nation's gratitude:
Effort to overturn legislative filibuster fails. https://t.co/81eJfMife6— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022
Will the Democrats now move on to issues that the American people are concerned about—inflation, China and Russia, empty store shelves, the pandemic, education, and so many others? Only time will tell. What is certain, however, is that when they are once again inevitably in the minority, the filibuster will return to being one of the most important institutions in America.
First tweets by RNLA's ED, Michael Thielen - a thread on filibuster history. The Democrats' remarks on the floor today made it clear that they only like the filibuster when it's useful to them. They're happy to break the rules to help their electoral prospects. https://t.co/eQfoOmCfEa— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) January 20, 2022