H.R. 1 is the House’s gigantic election reform package that all of the most influential Democrats are trying to push at the moment. For the second Sunday in a row, they have trotted out one of their more well known members to speak out about the package. This week, it was Stacey Abrams’ turn to tell everyone what they needed to. It’s time for the right to step up and take notice.
The idea is starting to gain far more traction on the left, so there is no ignoring it any longer. The way it seems right now, there may be a Senate death match over the 60 vote rule sooner than anyone could have ever anticipated. When Joe Manchin threatened to pass H.R.1 with the usage of simple majority rules of budget reconciliation, this should have signaled the level of seriousness here.
Now, the likes of Stacey Abrams have decided to get into the mix. This is especially rich when you stop to think about the fact that she is not currently holding any office. Thanks to the success that the Democrats are enjoying in the state of Georgia, Abrams’ own star is rising. That’s probably why she feels as if she is the best choice for this type of campaigning.
Georgia was delivered to Biden, Warnock and Ossoff within a matter of a few short months. Ever since she lost the race for governor three years back, she has dedicated herself to voting rights causes. The Democrats are clearly counting on her to keep the state blue in the meantime. Any time that she speaks out about election reform legislation, you had better believe that they are going to listen. They have no choice but to do so at this point.
In her mind, it is time for the Democrats to go nuclear. She’s not saying that the legislative filibuster needs to be completely eliminated but she’s looking to make special exemptions as needed. Special exemptions can be made in the same manner that is currently used for presidential nominees. Abrams believes that democracy is a fundamental value that needs to be protected. She also wants legislation to advance these fundamental values to require only 50 Senate votes.
The only question now is an important one: is Joe Manchin on board? He’s playing his cards fairly close to the vest. However, many of the colleagues who did not seem to be ready to engage in filibuster reform before are slowly making their way over to the other side of the conversation. Those who wish to read the tea leaves can see exactly what is about to happen here.
“Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada just became the latest Democratic senator to come out in support of reforming the 60-vote threshold on legislation. A member of the establishment wing of the party, Cortez Masto chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2020 election cycle.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota similarly endorsed reforming or eliminating the filibuster in the past week, adding to the momentum…
Democrats could create a filibuster carve-out for voting and civil rights legislation, as Klobuchar and other Democrats have called for in order to pass federal voting rights standards. They could take less drastic steps without outright repealing the rule, such as requiring senators waging filibusters to actually talk at length on the Senate floor to sustain them, something that isn’t the case currently. Or they could decide to scrap the 60-vote threshold entirely,” the Huffington Post reports.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 14, 2021
Abrams did manage to make one solid point during her interview with CNN. As she points out, even the Republicans who have a sizable say over the voting systems in Georgia agree that there were no irregularities. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger have had nothing to say to the contrary. If these new rules are going to make it easier for people to vote, then it will be hard for the Republicans to stand in the way.
Duncan: “We need new focus, [a] GOP 2.0, that includes moderates in the middle to get us to the next election.” pic.twitter.com/TmPSoK1DZC
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 14, 2021