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Schumer starts debate on voting legislation, says ‘eyes of the nation’ are on the Senate


By Ali Zaslav and Clare Foran, CNN

As the chamber returned after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer started debate on House-passed voting rights legislation and warned that “the eyes of the nation will be watching what happens this week in the United States Senate.”

Democrats are pushing ahead on one of the party’s signature issues despite the fact that they lack the votes to pass the legislation in Congress and face an uphill battle.

“Senate Democrats are under no illusion that we face difficult odds, especially when virtually every Senate Republican is staunchly against legislation protecting the right to vote,” Schumer said. “But I want to be clear: when this chamber confronts a question this important, one so vital to our country, so vital to our ideals, so vital to the future of our democracy, you don’t slide it off the table and say, never mind.”

The New York Democrat on Tuesday moved to force a vote to break a filibuster on the voting legislation, which could take place as soon as Wednesday if there is agreement. If there is no agreement, then the vote would take place Thursday.

“Just a few days removed from what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday, the Senate has begun the debate on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act for the first time in this Congress,” Schumer said.

The Senate majority leader repeated his threat that if Senate Republicans filibuster the elections bill from advancing, Democrats will attempt to change Senate rules changes in order to pass the legislation, an effort that also appears doomed to fail.

“We must consider and vote on the rule changes that are appropriate and necessary to restore the Senate, and make voting legislation possible,” Schumer said.

The problem for Democrats is that they do not have the votes to get rid of the filibuster, which sets a 60-vote threshold for most legislation to pass, due to opposition from influential moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Democrats take on voting rights

President Joe Biden has put a spotlight on voting rights in recent days, despite the challenge facing his party and at a time when other key elements of his domestic agenda are stalled.

Last week, Biden vowed to keep fighting during a visit to Capitol Hill but conceded that he doesn’t know if Democrats will be able to pass legislation they are pushing for.

“I hope we can get this done. The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said. “I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure. But one thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along if we miss the first time we can come back and try a second time.”

About 30 voting rights protesters were arrested by Capitol police on Tuesday after breaching the plaza perimeter and singing protest songs on the Senate steps.

They were there to call on the Senate to pass the combined this week this week. Protesters adapted traditional songs to include Manchin, Sinema and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s names, singing “go tell Sinema we shall not be moved,” “go tell Manchin,” and “ain’t gonna let McConnell turn me around.” They also chanted that “the filibuster has got to go.”

Some of those arrested are participating in a hunger strike and carried a sign saying that they are on day 13.

Capitol Police gave them their first warning about 10 minutes after they sat down and began arresting them after their third warning. Protesters were zip-tied and loaded into USCP marked vans to be taken offsite for processing.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.




        1. We already have a socialized economy for the wealthy and landowners. I would be all for extending it to everyone else. Why should they be special? As far as “authoritarian rule”, I see plenty of examples of that, but its not coming the dems. Last I heard they werent the ones forcing women to give birth against their will, making it harder to take part in legal elections, making it harder for people to get access to birth control, healthcare, food, housing, forcing people to pretend to be genders they are not, and promoting the teaching of falsified history in schools. That’s all conservative doctrine.

          I couldnt disagree more with you.

        1. Actually certified vote count is 81,282,916 to Trumps 74,223,369 or 51.3% to 46.9%. Trumps only popular with his small vocal base. That’s why voting rights are important, to represent the will of the people. The Hill and The Bulwark are both excellent conservative news sources.

    1. The Democrats social agenda is very popular throughout the country. Many republicans who vote against these social programs do so only to appease Trump and his small base, after voting NO they take credit for the help it provides their constituents who rely heavily on social services. Blue states generate far more income and support red states. That’s nice and how it should be. I’ll mention again that The Hill and The Bulwark are excellent conservative sources for this type of basic information.

      1. Blue states generate more income…maybe because the largest populations of cities are in Blue states? Blue states like Oregon that is every year adding more debt to its taxpayers. Red states like Idaho that seems to have a surplus at the end of the fiscal year?

      2. comrade sane, since you are n the topic of blue vs, red states perhaps you could explain the following trend. The three states in which more people are leaving rather than incoming are all blue states. Negative population growth that is. New York, California and Illinois tp be precise. At the same time that states that are having the highest influx of population growth are solidly Red states. Idaho, Utah and Texas are having huge population growth. This seems to suggest that the population as a whole is moving from blue to red. The wage earners are moving to red states while the homeless are moving to blue states hence what growth there is in say California seems to support that idea. Illinois is losing an important part of their taxable income population. You are right in that the poor are attracted to democrat welfare states. Lastly recently reported the roles of the independent and republican have grown by 14%. It seems that things are going from blue to red in my opinion. It is about freedom and the American way vs, some quasi socialist welfare state. get on board we could use someone like you.

  1. I am beginning to feel like democracy is a little bit on the doomed side.
    On one side you have a group of leaders that take a knee to a conman who has driven this country almost to the point of no return. On the other side you you have a group of people who have not figured out that they’re not playing the same game as their opponents. For a variety of reasons the Democrats will continue to lose. One simple reason being Republicans are working together and they are not. I’ve kind of wondered whether or not Trump has managed to get dirt on all of them. That would make the most sense. Why else would they grovel at his feet and throw away any chance of not looking like a villain historically?
    The democrats can’t even see that they’re in a lose lose situation. They can end the filibuster to protect voting rights, but when the midterms come and the Republicans who are set to gain control come in . What keeps them from using what the democrats started to take more control of the country. If this were a game of chess one could argue the democrats are being led right into it. On the other hand if the don’t change the filibuster the republicans will continue to set the stage for… Whatever comes next.

        1. With any luck and a few blessings from God, we’ll have a Constitutional Republic, if we can keep it. If the voting process is federalized it’s all over. Federalizing national voting subverts the US Constitution. Where the Constitution says that States will conduct voting operations not the federal government. This prevents either side from the control of voting. As far the vote count, it has been proven that it’s not how many votes are counted as much as who counts the votes.

    1. What exactly have the Democrats started that the Republican’s would want to continue? They have figured out what the Democrats stand for, and are doing the opposite. This administration is doing nothing to hide their Democrat agenda as they have in the past. They are going full speed ahead, maybe that is why Biden/Harris ratings are so low.

      1. An elected Democrat pushing a Democratic agenda? Shocking! Republicans never push Republican agendas. As ineffective, out of touch and unpopular as Biden is, his approval ratings are still better than Trump’s at the end of year one. Politics these days are just a Dumb and Dumber re-run, but by all means keep investing your money, support and attention in these buffoons. Keep letting them divide you. Keep letting them lead you into thinking people who disagree with you are your enemy or are somehow unAmerican. Just get in the ideological box they’ve created for you and stay there. Never think for yourself or put country before party.

        1. Biden’s approval numbers started higher than Trump’s for sure. For point in time they now approaching being nearly the same.

          Historically, Biden also has been a little more popular than Gerald Ford so far.

          But compared to every other president all the way back to Truman Biden’s approval numbers trail significantly. Having the third lowest approval ratings in the last 75 years isn’t really much to brag about.

        2. Currently, the president’s overall approval rating is at an all-time low overall (33 percent), In its final three-day rolling average of 2017, Trump’s approval rating hit 40%.

    2. The party of the former guy already ended the filibuster on several occasions. One was the hold up of a supreme court nominee for whole year until they could get their own. I don’t know BigD what you’ve been smoking but you’re not in reality.

      1. Well in my reality this country is on its way to authoritarian reign/civil war because “all” politicians stop telling the truth a long time ago. And for the most part stopped working for the American people. It’s all about the money and the power not about the people.
        I personally feel like both sides are doing a great job of screwing this country up.

        1. Didn’t you know that the term politician means liar. The best politician is almost always the best liar. It’s right there in the term “Sexual Politics”. Which, put more simply, means lying to get sex. Therefore the word politics means lying. The simplest definition of politics. There is one former president who never took a salary while losing over $2 billion during his term in office. That person certainly was not Biden who, while in the senate and VP. gained a ton of money and has purchased 4 multi-million dollar mansions.

    3. “On the other side you you have a group of people who have not figured out that they’re not playing the same game as their opponents. For a variety of reasons the Democrats will continue to lose. One simple reason being Republicans are working together and they are not.”

      BINGO. Dems still try to play like reasonable, sane people. They do not understand the sort of opponents they are up against.

    4. hmm, well for starters the United States isnt a democracy. It is a Republic. theres a big difference. also, you probably didnt hear it on your liberal mainstream media but the democrats just used the filibuster the other day to block legislation. yep, the same filibuster you want to get rid of.

  2. Democrats don’t align with the message of MLK. Who are they trying to fool? No wonder they try to erase history, it exposes their hypocrisy! Democrats continue to pass legislation mandating discrimination based solely on the color of a person’s skin. Get these clowns out of here, America is better than that.

      1. Democrat imposed quotas requiring private business to elect a board and employ a workforce that matches the demographic of a given location. Are you familiar with this? It’s big in blue states, forcing private business of a certain size to hire token minorities, not based on skill, but because the business needs a minority to fill a quota. They also do this for sex and I believe in some states, identity. Required to have an alternate pronoun on the payroll. It is mandated discrimination that does not stray far from the party’s roots of segregation.

        1. Conservatives believe in the equality of opportunity. Liberals believe in the equality of outcome. That is the fundamental difference. The right to succeed versus the right to a place on the board due to demographics.

          1. I have a friend with what is evidently a classic African American name. This person got a job interview and upon showing, was quickly dismissed because, according to her, the company said it needed to fill a minority quota and surprise, she was not the expected color. I make it a pretty strict habit to not write specifics about people I know in the comments, but it’s been a few years and her experience seems important to this discussion.

  3. Curious if anyone has compiled a list of names of the people whose rights were infringed upon by not being allowed to vote?
    Seems like if the Dems want to make a case they’d have the evidence?

      1. As well as in any areas shortening the open hours creating long lines and discontinuing mail in voting, even though that’s how Donald and Melania Trump both accessed their rights to vote.

      2. BigD,
        Rather than lobbing out wild statement in hopes someone will buy into it, why not provide the name of the state where they’ve removed all the voting boxes.

          1. Blue,
            You may as well list CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the fake news for sources.
            In a nutshell the Dems want to keep the same (COVID) rules that were employed during the 2020 elections most of which were constitutionaly illegal by bypassing state legislatures. This is exactly why we’re seeing Democrat governors extending their “emergency” powers as they’re testing the waters.
            Another dirty little secret that’s in the bill is federal matching campaign funds. For every dollar a campaign raises the federal government will give the campaign 6 dollars.

      3. its discriminatory to have to show my ID when i buy beer. its also discriminatory that i have to drive to the liquor store. i should get mail in booze without an ID.

    1. Now you’re just being silly. The Democrat machine doesn’t do evidence. They certainly don’t answer questions. They do keep lists, though. What is in this bill I do not know, but I can guarantee it has nothing to do with voting rights and everything to do with manipulating the process in their favor. How do I know? Consistency mostly but also because the one item mentioned in the article is a measure seeking to eliminate a key defence against such one sided legislation –the filibuster.

      1. None of the recounts from the 2020 election have shown voter fraud of any significance and the only people known to have cast more than one ballot are a handful of old republican guys from The Village in Florida. Over 60 lawsuits have been launched in the courts and lost with the exception of one or two lesser ones and many of the judges overseeing the cases were appointed by Donald Trump.

        1. Okay. I don’t get involved in the 2020 election debate but I can say with certainty that such partisan perspectives are willfully ignorant of half the information. If you can’t acknowledge the audits were a hotbed of obstruction, then you can’t say you care about election integrity.

  4. who in this country cannot vote that is eligible?
    let’s start there.
    ID’s are required for EVERYTHING and if voting is as important as these folks say, then absolutely they should be required for voting.
    and the king family? really? demanding?? MLK was one apple in that bunch and they have as much a right to “demand” as anyone else – they are not special.

        1. Ah, we never learn. If you believe voting is just a privilege conferred on some and not to every free citizen, don’t be surprised when that privilege is taken away from you for whatever reason your political opponents deem reasonable. Never assert a power you don’t want turned against you.

          1. It isn’t too much of an ask to require that you have some skin in the game ( be an actual citizen) to vote. How do you prove you are a citizen? Get some ID.

      1. yes, to vote, as to do so many other common things where an ID is required.
        do you ever fly on an airplane? you have to show your ID multiple times to purchase a ticket and board a plane.
        have you ever purchased alcohol? ID needed for that.
        go to the hospital? ID needed for that.
        open a bank account? ID needed for that.

        get the point?

        1. Do you believe any of those things to be related in any way to the the most fundamental premise of this nation? You honestly believe buying a six pack is comparable to the people’s right to freely select our representatives? You also need money to fly, buy alcohol and open a bank account. Do you support poll taxes, too?

          1. You’re missing the point. In other words, how does an adult individual make it through life without a government ID? I would welcome you to try and find as many people as you can that has not done ANY the following: buy a house, rent a house/apartment, bring ID your first day of work, buy a vehicle, rent a vehicle, drive a vehicle, board a plane, buy tobacco, buy alcohol, apply for a loan, purchase a firearm, purchase ammunition, open a bank account, apply for food stamps, apply for welfare, apply for medicaid/social security, apply for unemployment, get married, check into a motel room, apply for hunting or fishing license, play the lottery or visit a casino, enter another country.

            If you can find a large number of these people, good luck. If you do, and they haven’t done any of these things, I’m pretty sure voting isn’t even on their radar as a priority. Requiring ID to vote is a lame argument to try and convince people that this is somehow racist and it will affect nearly all minorities. When it reality, it won’t affect hardly anyone.

          2. Of 47 nations surveyed in Europe—a place where, on other matters, American progressives often look to with envy—all but one country requires a government-issued photo voter ID to vote

      2. You already have to provide gov ID for nearly everything you do. Get on plane, drive a car,open bank account, use credit card, get a PO box. Why not something as important as casting a vote.

    1. It doesn’t take a genius to realize voting Republican or Democrat makes no difference in the long run. They are two side of the same coin…flip that penny any way you like and you still end up with $0.01.

    1. How many that are here illegally are already voting ? Illegals aren’t supposed
      to be able to get an Oregon drivers license but thanks to the Liberals beloved
      clown in Salem, that went out the window. And still her supporters say that she
      is doing an awesome job.

  5. History will show who was a patriot and who was not. This is one of the saddest times I have lived through and I lived through the 60’s. All this fear and anger should not be part of the American DNA but it obviously is, and people need to ask why, I mean honestly why. I do not care what side anyone is or pretends to be on about anything, everyone is going to loose! People died so we can tear ourselves apart???

  6. It isn’t voter rights it’s a way for the Democrats to scrap what they don’t like and then they will push for voting rights for all illegals. We need voter ID just like your damn driver’s license which you have to present to the bank and many other places. So, I hope the Senate says no. Remember where Biden lives their voting rules are more restrictive than Georgia.

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