Late. Ed Markey and rep. Cori Bush teamed up to host a Twitter Spaces event on January 13 calling for the abolition of the filibuster to protect voting rights.
The conversation, which lasted about half an hour and attracted just over 700 listeners at its peak, covered Markey and Bush’s opinions about the filibuster, what it would do for their voters to get rid of the filibuster, and how they feel about the odds of a win.
Filibuster is a tactic used in Congress where members of Congress debate the issue for an extended period of time to delay or prevent a vote. In the Senate, 60 votes are required to complete a filibuster.
During their conversation, Markey read the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that the right to vote cannot be denied or shortened based on “race, skin color or previous condition of slavery.” He said democracy will be undermined and threatened if filibusters remain in matters of suffrage.
“I never think there was a moment when the people who wrote that amendment to the Constitution, or the original founders of the Constitution, ever thought that there should be a minority of senators who could block with the majority, would in the United States, said Markey. “Right now, there is a clear majority will to protect voters. And it’s only the filibuster that stops it, because they claim we need 60 votes, we need 60% of the Senate, to protect people, and that’s completely absurd, of course. “
Bush, a Missouri First District Democrat, asked how minority groups, such as the BIPOC and the disabled, are supposed to get justice when many proposed changes are hampered by the filibuster.
“The filibuster is not even in the Constitution.… It’s not something we should have,” Bush said.
Both Bush and Markey discussed how the filibuster has directly affected voting rights for decades. Abolishing filibusters would pave the way for both Law on the freedom to vote and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. If passed, the laws will together be the most comprehensive law on democracy reform passed in decades.
“We must have this debate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S. Senate, and we need to repeal the filibuster so that we can redeem the promise of all the generations who fought for everyone in the country to have these rights, said Markey.
Markey is not the only prominent politician in Massachusetts who has supported a change in the rules so that they no longer allow filibustering for voting rights. Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark, of the Fifth District of Massachusetts, wrote an op-ed in Newsweek last week and said: “We must abolish the current filibuster to protect the vote and fair elections. The future of the republic depends on it.”
Late. Elizabeth Warren has been too vocal by calling for the removal of filibusters for voting rights. President Joe Biden, too came out as support of a change to the filibuster rules earlier this week.
Markey and Bush ended their Twitter Spaces event by discussing how they felt about their odds. Bush said she was “optimistic that the work will be done.”
“We have to fight, we have to fight for the next four days,” Markey told Bush. “I just hope a victory can be achieved on the filibuster [and] about the right to vote, but about all the other issues that you care about and that our country needs to look at in place to protect the most vulnerable. “
Shortly after Markey and Bush ended their talks, President Biden signaled that he was not sure his party’s signature elections and voting rights would be passed in Congress this year. The announcement at the Capitol came after Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona revealed her refusal to join other Democrats in changing the Senate filibuster rule.
“The honest answer to God is that I do not know if we can get this done,” Biden said. “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to fight.”
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