Sen. Alex Padilla of California.
Shawn Thew/Pool via AP
Sen. Alex Padilla said that continued GOP obstruction of voting rights will force Democrats to “revisit” legislative rules.
On MSNBC, Padilla took aim at the filibuster, which he has sought to eliminate in the Senate.
Democrats have been unable to persuade 10 Republicans to advance voting-rights legislation.
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Sen. Alex Padilla on Sunday said that if Republicans block the voting-rights compromise legislation being drafted by Democratic lawmakers, then the party will have “no choice” but to look to filibuster reform.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Mehdi Hasan Show,” the California Democrat, who last December was tapped to join the upper chamber to fill the remaining term of now-Vice President Kamala Harris, said that if Democrats fail to muster 10 GOP votes to overcome an filibuster, then the party would have to reexamine how to pass the legislation.
Padilla said that a working group that consists of Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, along with himself and others, sought to work diligently in order to craft a bill that could garner the support of all 50 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
“We’ve taken some during this August recess to appeal to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle,” he said. “I know Sen. Manchin keeps reminding everybody how the preference is always to work in a bipartisan fashion. When we can, that’s great. But our fundamental voting rights are so important and so critical.”
He emphasized: “I think if we’re not successful in getting 10 Republicans to do the right thing, then we have no choice but to revisit the rules of the Senate … some outdated rules of the Senate. Whether it’s abolishing the filibuster as a whole or somehow creating a carve-out or exemption to allow these measures to go forward for the sake of our democracy. It’s too important.”
For months, the party’s marquee voting-rights measures – the For the People Act (H.R. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act (H.R. 4) – have stalled in Congress.
The previous version of the For the People Act included provisions to ban partisan gerrymandering, expand early and absentee voting, establish national standards for voter registration, and curb voter purges, among other measures. The bill would also mandate that states offer mail-in ballots and same-day voter registration, policies which are anathema to conservatives.
The House passed the previous version of the bill, but it has languished in the Senate – Democrats need 60 votes to advance the legislation and Republicans have so far refused to sign on to H.R. 1 and filibustered the bill in June. For months, Manchin and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have dismissed calls to nix the filibuster, saying that such an action would only inflame partisan divisions.
Even if the compromise bill receives 50 votes, Democrats still need 10 crossover votes. …read more
Source:: Business Insider