Schumer says Senate will debate and vote changes to address “the weaponization of rule…hijacked to guarantee obstruction”
Fix Our Senate: “Senate Democrats must now choose between protecting our democracy or stubbornly preserving an outdated and abused Senate rule.”
Washington, DC – This morning, Fix Our Senate released the following statement from spokesman Eli Zupnick in response to Senator Chuck Schumer’s letter to Senate Democrats today laying out a timeline for a debate and vote on Senate rules by January 17th.
“We are very glad to see Leader Schumer taking strong steps to bring Senate Democrats together to address Sen. McConnell’s egregious abuse of the filibuster, which has broken the Senate and prevented critical and popular legislation from passing, including essential voting rights and democracy protections.”
“Even our elected officials who have supported the filibuster in the past now see how it is being abused and know that changes must be made to restore true debate and prevent it from continuing to be used as a partisan weapon of obstruction.”
“Democrats have forged an overwhelming consensus to fix the broken Senate – from President Biden and Senate moderates, to Senate progressives, the House caucus, and the overwhelming majority of people across the country who are counting on Democrats to deliver on their promises and protect our democracy.
“Leader Schumer made the choice clear: Senate Democrats must now choose between protecting our democracy or stubbornly preserving an outdated and abused Senate rule.”
Key excerpts from Leader Schumer’s letter to the Democratic caucus:
“The Senate was designed to protect the political rights of the minority in the chamber, through the promise of debate and the opportunity to amend. But over the years, those rights have been warped and contorted to obstruct and embarrass the will of majority – something our Founders explicitly opposed…they explicitly rejected supermajority requirements for legislation, having learned firsthand of such a requirement’s defects under the Articles of Confederation.
“The weaponization of rules once meant to short-circuit obstruction have been hijacked to guarantee obstruction. We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?
“We must adapt. The Senate must evolve, like it has many times before…Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy. We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.”