Senate Democrats opened debate Tuesday on a bill to override state election laws with a grab-bag of Leftist pet issues. The party controlling the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and White House after the last federal election is insisting the entire election system is fundamentally flawed and must be completely overhauled. Don't ask me how that makes sense. Are they questioning the legitimacy of their own electoral victory? Are they going to impeach themselves next?
In substance, the bill mimics similar bills Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) narrowly squeezed through the House, only for them to find an early grave in Senate committees. Ironically, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was able to bypass committees and bring the bill directly to the Senate floor because the Senate had already considered the bill -- even though it was completely different the last time the Senate looked at it. House Democrats gutted and remodeled another bill by stuffing their election takeover measures inside. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) explained the bill "left the House, came to the Senate, went back to the House, and now it's coming back to the Senate brand new."
Democratic leaders may know how to manipulate the rules of inter-chamber ping-pong, but that won't pass their federal election takeover through the Senate. They successfully started debate, but "they can't stop debate without filing cloture," Rounds explained on "Washington Watch," which requires 60 votes to pass (this is commonly known as the filibuster). With a Senate split 50-50, Democrats know ten Republicans will never cross the aisle to help pass their ludicrous election takeover. In saner times, the current impasse would prompt a search for common ground, promote dialogue aimed at consensus, and encourage politicians to recalibrate their objectives to what is possible.
We live in insane times. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered a modest compromise to shore up the electoral count process, which Senator Schumer rejected. Schumer's new objective is to blow up the system. National Democrats, who previously supported the filibuster, have flirted with abolishing it all year (except when it helped them), but now they're serious about it. But their biggest obstacle is... Democratic Senators! Despite relentless pressure, Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have flatly refused to change their position on the filibuster all year long. That means Democrats can only muster 48 votes, at most, for lowering the threshold for Senate legislation from 60 votes to 50. There is no math that turns 48 out of 100 senators into a majority.
Yet Schumer remains desperately committed to overturning the filibuster (and America's election system). "They want somebody to show up at the polls, say that they are a registered voter, and be able to vote without a valid ID," Rounds complained. Good luck catching cheaters that way. "They want to make Election Day a federal holiday," he continued, imposing costs on private businesses. "They want every department of motor vehicles to have to register people as voters... automatically," even though most DMVs aren't designed to determine citizenship. As if that didn't interfere with state governments enough, "they want felons to have the right to vote," something which "the vast majority of states" have rejected. "Even [states] like New York don't like what they're proposing here," Rounds concluded. In fact, 19 states passed election security bills in the past year to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
Democrats pretend that passing their election takeover bill is the only way to preserve American democracy. Yet the popularly elected representatives of the American people passed the very laws a minority of senators are seeking to override. If anything, they're trying to strangle democracy in its sleep.