Support For Filibuster “Carve-Out” Over Voting Rights Announced By Senator


Without the freedom to vote, Americans without a doubt will lose the House, the Senate, and possibly the presidency. Yet, the Republicans have implemented 40 state laws in nearly every state to restrict access to the polls. Two essential voting rights bills have been held in the queue with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) threatening to render the Democrats helpless by using the filibuster. This even though he need only have 41 votes to force the other side of the aisle to give. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) may have a solution.

The Virginia senator said that he would be willing to support a “small carve-out” in the filibuster but only to pass these voting bills. That would restore and strengthen parts of the existing law, which the Supreme Court struck down. However, Warner expressed concern about changes to the 2013 filibuster.

Warner appeared on Fox News Sunday where he warned that the Senate might be turning itself into the more raucous House of Representatives. He worried that the party in power could ram through untold legislation, according to The Business Insider:

‘I don’t want the Senate to become like the House.’

‘But I do believe when it comes to voting rights, when it comes to that basic right to exercise and participate in democracy, I get very worried what’s happening in some of these states where they are actually penalizing, saying if you give somebody water waiting in line to vote, or in states like Texas where they’re saying a local government can overcome the results of a local election. That is not democracy.’

‘If we have to do a small carve out on filibuster for voting rights – that is the only area where I’d allow that kind of reform.’

Warner questioned the soundness of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s filibuster change in 2013, The Washington Post reported. When Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell said that he planned on blocking everything President Barack Obama wanted, there was little choice, though. It appeared the only way Reid would get President Obama’s presidential nominees was with a simple majority:

‘I would wish we wouldn’t even have started this a decade ago. When the Democratic leaders actually changed the rules, I don’t think we would have the Supreme Court we did if we still had a 60-vote margin on the filibuster.’

‘But we are where we are, and the idea that somehow to protect the rights of the minority in the Senate, we’re going to cut out rights of minorities and young people all across the country, that’s just not right to me.’

Warner supports the voting-rights legislation known as the For the People Act (S-1):

‘[It] would end partisan gerrymandering, expand early, and absentee voting, establish national standards for voter registration, and blunt voter purges, among other measures.’

In addition, the Democratic Party has the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass. The two bills work in tandem. This one restores the 1965 Voting Rights Act, to what it was originally before the Supreme Court weakened it.

For the People Act failed 50-50. It needed 60 votes to break the filibuster. None of the Republicans voted for it. Still, it is a puzzle why Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and other Democrats remain adamantly against touching this worn rule.

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