It seemed so simple—create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly attack on the U.S. capital, and prevent future attacks. Some of the same Republican Senators who hid in offices with furniture blocking doors, running through the halls and calling relatives, voted to block a bill that would provide facts and clarity on what went wrong. They voted to ignore that Vice President Pence’s life was threatened, and rioters were going “to put a bullet through Speaker Pelosi’s head.”
John C. Calhoun would be very proud of these Senators defending the filibuster. Robert J. Lacey, in LOGOS, writes, “The filibuster is institutional proof that the ideas held by defenders of slavery and white supremacy, including supermajorityism and states’ rights still haunt us today. Our dysfunctional and anti-democratic Senate can trace its thoughts back to the founder of the Confederacy, John C. Calhoun. The filibuster reveals itself to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.” It is not found in the constitution.
What is at stake if the filibuster continues? The short answer is that many critical pieces of legislation will be defeated because 60 Senate votes are needed to pass any bill and only three to seven Republican votes are possible. In addition, Minority leader, Mitch McConnell stated that he will attempt to defeat any legislation supported by President Biden. Bipartisan efforts to pass legislation appear to be an anachronism.
Bills waiting in the wings for a vote include:
- The George Floyd Policing Act. This bill provides a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the state, federal and local levels, and limits unnecessary use of force.
- Voting Rights Act (Senate Bill 1). The “For the People Act” addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, etc.
- The American Jobs Plan. This bill will not only pay for the repair of bridges, highways, and upgrade ports, but will deliver clean drinking water where lead-filled pipes exist and deliver high-speed broadband to all Americans.
Barring a miracle, these bills and other important pieces of legislation will not pass unless the racist-initiated filibuster is eliminated. That takes many voices around the country urging Senators to rid the country of this obstacle to democracy. Your voice is needed!