He isn’t backing down.
Charles Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, announced he would be forcing a vote by January 17th if Republicans blocked voting rights legislation. His announcement follows moves by Democrat Senators to use the January 6th Capitol riot anniversary as a backdrop to push the voting legislation agenda.
In a letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus, Schumer wrote that over the coming weeks, the Senate would be considering ways to perfect the “union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy.”
He added that he hoped Republican Senators would “change course and work with us.” But expressed that even if they did not, the Senate would go ahead with a debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, saying that the move was an attempt to “protect the foundation of our democracy.”
The debate is meant to eradicate the 60-vote legislative filibuster, which Republicans have used to prevent election reform and voting rights bills from passing through the Senate, saying that these bills were federal overreach.
The new timeline for the voting rights legislation coincides with the Senate’s return to Washington this week but also with the anniversary of the January 6th Capitol riot, linking the Capitol riot to “partisan actions being taken by Republican-led state legislatures across the country.”
Schumer’s more aggressive timelines put pressure on ongoing negotiations in caucus about necessary changes to conclude the legislation.
According to The Hill, Democrats are yet to decide on a plan but were discussing a “range of ideas.” The ideas currently being considered by Democrats included creating a carveout from the filibuster, enforcing a talking filibuster which would allow bills to pass with a simple majority, or requiring 41 “no” votes to sustain a filibuster, instead of the 60 “yes” votes currently required to sustain a filibuster.