Ahead of President Biden’s visit to Capitol Hill later today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer argued that over the next few days the Senate “will face a critical and unavoidable question” on whether to protect democracy.
The House voted 220-203 to advance voting rights legislation this morning, but it is not expected to pass in the Senate as the GOP are likely to block it.
“We will be left with no choice but to consider changes to Senate rules so we can move forward,” Schumer reiterated.
“Changing Senate rules has been done many times before in this chamber,” he added. “This is not the first, second or third time that this is happening.”
As CNN’s Clare Foran reported, Democrats don’t have the votes to pass voting legislation under current Senate rules due to Republican opposition, and they don’t have the votes to change the rules.
Democratic moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two influential moderates, have long expressed opposition to eliminating the 60-vote threshold.
Schumer defended President Biden and commended him for “offering a strong speech” and said he looks forward to him joining their caucus lunch later today, as the President has faced criticism over his words in Atlanta earlier this week.
“I commend President Biden for offering a strong speech, and I look forward to having him join Senate Democrats later today at our caucus meeting to discuss the path forward,” Schumer said in floor remarks.
The New York Democrat again laid out his plans for the chamber over the next few days, including what he expects to happen after the House vote.
“Then, the Senate will finally hold a debate on the voting rights legislation for the first time in this Congress, and every senator will be faced with a choice of whether or not to pass this legislation to protect our Democracy,” he said.
Here’s a look at Schumer’s steps to change the filibuster:
- House passes package with voting rights bills
- Senate votes with simple majority to start debate on voting rights bill
- Vote to break filibuster on voting rights bill if it fails
- Schumer moves to change filibuster rules
Read more about where things stand in Congress on voting here.