Schumer cleans the floor with Cornyn over voting rights laws and the GOP’s ‘obeisance’ to Trump
Nothing is better than using your enemy’s weapons against them. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did just that, practically shoving Sen. John Cornyn’s chart and questions straight down his throat.
At the opening of Tuesday’s session, Schumer took an opportunity to use Cornyn’s ridiculous questions about election fraud to clearly lay out why it’s absolutely vital to pass two monumental voting rights bills—the landmark Voting Rights Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act—and the reason it’s imperative to use new filibuster rules to do it.
Schumer pummeled Cornyn with a few truth hammers. Calling Republicans out on their lack of evidence of election fraud and reiterating that former President Trump lost the election by 7 million votes.
Schumer took no prisoners. He railed against Republicans and their “obeisance” to Trump.
“I would guess that most of them know the election wasn’t stolen and that the ‘Big Lie’ doesn’t take effect. But Trump has such power over the Republican party. Such power that they do what he wants, the legislatures and here in the Senate,” Schumer said.
“I would remind my good friend from Texas, that his fellow Texans, George H. Bush, George W. Bush, both proudly supported the extension of the voting rights act until Donald Trump came over and, in my opinion, poisoned the Republican party on voting rights.”
The latest discussions are over forcing voting rights through using the “nuclear option,” meaning changing Senate rules to pass laws without a majority.
Senators need 60 votes to do just about anything in the Senate, except to change the rules. That takes only 51 votes.
According to an official who previewed President Joe Biden’s speech in Atlanta Tuesday, Biden will back changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules, allowing a minority of 41 senators in the 100-member chamber to block most legislation.
“The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation,” Biden will say in the speech, according to an excerpt of the speech distributed by the White House. “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light overshadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand.”
At least 19 states have passed 34 new laws making it more difficult to vote, according to voting access advocates, with some state legislatures continuing to repeat Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in order to push through restrictions.
The New York Times reports that several leading voting rights groups will protest Biden’s speech today, arguing that the president is using the speech, and the historical symbols of the civil rights movement simply as a backdrop for what they call “more speeches and platitudes.”
“We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act—and we need that immediately,” James Woodall, former president of the NAACP of Georgia, told the Times.
Schumer announced Tuesday that the Senate will act “as soon as tomorrow” on voting rights and elections reform. “It is my intention to once again bring legislation to the floor to fight back against the threats to democracy and protect people’s access to the ballot,” Schumer said.
He continued, saying that if Republicans “continue to hijack the rules of the Senate” to block these bills and “continue paralyzing this chamber to the point where we’re helpless to fight back against the Big Lie,” he’ll “consider the necessary steps” to make the Senate “adapt and act.”
That’s a direct challenge to Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), but particularly Manchin, who spent the last 24 hours flat-out lying about the filibuster, unchallenged by Fox News reporter Chad Pergram. He said the filibuster has been “the tradition of the Senate here in 232 years now […] That’s what we’ve always had for 232 years.” Which, of course, is utter bullshit.
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