(RightWing.org) – The Democratic-led House and Senate are skating on thin ice as they force highly controversial bills on America. One of them is HR 1, also known as the “For the People Act.” Democrats created the law to counter GOP-led states who are reforming election laws after the debacle of the 2020 election. The proposed law seeks to strip the states of their Constitutional responsibilities under the 10th Amendment and ensure Democrats remain in firm control of the country as a permanent majority.
Republican legislatures contend that the 2020 election demonstrated that election laws needed reforms to ensure the public can trust future outcomes. However, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) says that HR 1 is vital to the Democratic agenda. Standing in the way of the law’s passage in the Senate are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ). Manchin is the only Senator not to co-sponsor HR 1.
Manchin and Sinema Refuse to End Filibuster
The US Constitution does not specify how the House or Senate is to conduct day-to-day business. The filibuster was created in 1917 in response to Senators refusing to end debate on the floor of the Senate. It created a rule called “cloture” that ends debate when 60 Senators agree it’s time to vote.
Manchin and Sinema argue that the filibuster provides a needed and necessary function in the Senate to protect the minority party from being run over roughshod. While Democrats are thinking short-term about their opportunity to pass leftist legislation, the two moderates are thinking long-term about what could happen when Democrats are in the minority.
Their refusal to budge makes Clyburn hopping mad.
Clyburn on the Attack
On Thursday, April 1, Clyburn launched a scathing attack on Manchin and Sinema. He questioned why bipartisanship was necessary. The majority whip said he was insulted that Manchin was putting the needs of the minority party (Republicans) over the needs of minorities in America. He added that Manchin might be responsible for the Democrats losing their majority after Georgia’s new reform laws could harm freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in the upcoming election.
The South Carolina Democrat added that it’s “a bunch of crap” that Manchin would protect 50 Republicans in the Senate over a fellow Democrat in a tough race in Georgia that will have civil and voting rights at the core of the debate.
In another interview on Thursday, Clyburn said that Manchin and Sinema better find a way around the filibuster if they want to stay in the majority. He suggested that a special exception could be made to HR 1. However, how would that work? In truth, it’s opening a pandora’s box to make an exception to everything. It sounds like another cheap workaround to the filibuster when it’s convenient.
Clyburn is partially right. The Democrats will struggle to win if election laws are fair and unambiguous. However, he’s wrong to attack Manchin and Sinema for refusing to end the filibuster or create subjective rules that help them skirt around it. Sinema hails from a right-leaning state, and Manchin’s West Virginia is deep red country. Neither will likely go too far from the center to avoid alienating their bases nor should they be coerced to do so.
As the Senate moves forward with HR 1, it will be an interesting study in Democratic politics. Will they fight to bend the rules to their favor, or will they accept the long-held rules as they are and make their case to voters in 2022?
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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