With a doomed minority, the US Senate remains the place where bills go to die
In March 2021, the majority leader Chuck schumerChuck Schumer Moderation No Virtue In The Fight For Voting Rights How To Fix The Semiconductor Chip Shortage (It’s More Than Just Manufacturing) Sausage making won’t be pretty in the coming months MORE (DN.Y.) said the US Senate would not be “the legislative graveyard, very simply.” He made a down payment on that pledge using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to secure Senate passage of the administration’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. Biden without the support of any Republican. Last month, the Senate passed a $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (the U.S. Jobs Plan), with every Democrat and 19 Republicans voting yes.
That said, the Senate remains the place where bills go to die, including bills passed by the House of Representatives and supported by a substantial percentage of voters. Here is a short list of how a doomed minority is using filibuster to thwart the will of the people:
Republicans have blocked two gun control measures passed by the House that would require universal background checks for anyone looking to buy a gun, extend the time the federal government could take to complete those checks, and enforce the law to private and unlicensed sellers. Without citing any evidence, Ted cruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz State Department sanctions more Russians for Nord Stream 2 CNN’s Clarissa Ward has pivotal media moment in Afghanistan Biden to extend mask term for travelers until January MORE (R-Texas) said the legislation “won’t reduce crime, it will make it worse.” About 92 percent of Americans support these measures.
Republicans blocked the law to protect the right to organize passed by the House. The legislation would give the National Labor Relations Board the power to impose fines on companies that retaliate against union organizers; demands arbitration when unions and authorized employers are deadlocked; overrides so-called “right to work” laws that allow employers to refuse to deduct dues from paychecks in unionized workplaces; and reduce the requirements for “independent contractors” (stage workers) to demonstrate that they are actually employees. About 59 percent of Americans (including 40 percent of Republicans) strongly or somewhat strongly support the PRO law; and 68 percent (including 54 percent Republicans) believe that public sector workers have the right to organize.
Republicans blocked a House bill (backed by 35 Republicans) to set up a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan.6 insurgency on Capitol Hill. Six Republican senators, below the ten needed to end an obstruction, supported the measure. “I don’t want to know, but I need to know,” said Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy Judge Blocks Alaskan Oil Project Permits House Democrats Introduce Biparty John Lewis Blip Voting Rights Bill: Infrastructure Deal Last Of Its Kind Without Change systemic PLUS (R-Alaska). To ensure that the commission is “fair, impartial and fact-based, Republicans must be involved,” Bill CassidyBill CassidyHillicon Valley: Senators Want Answers on Amazon’s Biometrics Collection | House members issue accompanying bill targeting app stores | Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit A two-chamber story: Trump’s power holds in the House, diminishes in the Senate Senators want answers on Amazon’s biometric collection MORE (R-Louisiana) claimed. At the time, 66% of Americans (including 45% Republicans) approved the creation of the commission.
Republicans blocked the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the House. The bill removes qualified immunity so that police officers can be prosecuted in civilian court; demands that the police services collect data on the ethnic, racial and religious identity of the suspects they detain; prohibited warrants without striking; ends federal funds for departments that do not ban strangulations; creates a national database on police misconduct; and requires police to wear body cameras. 74% of Americans (including 55% of Republicans) strongly or somewhat support these measures. “And now the obstacle is the Senate,” said the representative. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBass plans to run for office amid talks over LA mayor Scott’s candidacy: “There is hope” for the Biden Police Reform Bill: Republicans who say the Democrats want to fund the police lie MORE (D-Calif.) Said recently. “And, you know, that’s the hindrance with every law because of the obstruction.”
Republicans blocked the For The People Act passed by the House. The bill reduces the impact of the recent wave of state laws restricting voting, especially by members of ethnic and minority groups. When asked for their opinions without partisan clues, over 60 percent of Americans (and 38 to 52 percent of Republicans) strongly or somewhat support the requirement of non-partisan redistribution commissions (to eliminate gerrymandering); a 15-day advance voting period for all federal elections; same-day and / or automatic registration for eligible voters; and give all eligible voters the opportunity to vote by mail.
When the Senate meets again in September, it will consider President BidenJoe BidenBiden will address the nation on the evacuation of Afghanistan on Sunday afternoon Pelosi says House is working on passing infrastructure bills by October 1. Facebook report reveals primary link within 3 months was to doctor who died after receiving COVID-19 PLUS vaccinethe $ 3.5 trillion budget plan. Given the opposition of every Republican, Schumer will need the support of the 50 Democrats for the bill to pass.
And the Senate must also look at the debt ceiling.
Given these heavy and tedious elevators, it is unlikely that the gun control, work organization, police reform and voting rights bills, all of which are subject to the filibuster, be scrutinized by what was once – and is no longer – the “greatest deliberative body.”
Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He is the co-author (with Stuart Blumin) of “Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century. “