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If we’re lucky, Congress will short circuit the Lege’s attempts to curtail voting

That would be nice.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Elections have consequences. So does the Republican enabling of the worst, most corrupt chief executive in the nation’s history. Hence, the first piece of legislation to be introduced in the new Democratic Senate will be S. 1, The for the People Act of 2021. The bill from Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is a companion to H.R. 1 in the House, a bill with the same title and largely similar provisions to restore and protect voting rights, tackle dark money in politics, and make ethics reforms for public servants.

This could be the legislation that breaks the filibuster, and that will be a challenge for some Republicans to oppose. The House passed a version of the bill soon after retaking the majority in the last Congress, but no Republican in the Senate had to face a vote on it because Mitch McConnell just refused to bring the bill to the floor. Upping the stakes is Project Lincoln, the never-Trumper Republicans who made a big splash against Trump and his enablers in the GOP. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent has the scoop that Project Lincoln supports it. “If Republicans want to move past Trump and repudiate Trumpism in all its forms, they need to pass foundational reforms to democracy,” Reed Galen, co-founder of the group told Sargent. “Senate Republicans must make a choice: Do they stand for democracy or are they the new Jim Crow caucus?”

Here’s some of what they have to decide on: universal registration of eligible voters and simple voter registration maintenance available to all voters online, Election Day voter registration, limiting voter purges by states and requiring early voting, as well as restricting hurdles states can impose on voting and vote by mail; restoration of the protections in the Voting Rights Act overturned by the Supreme Court and blocked by McConnell; and independent redistricting commission in the states to end gerrymandering. On the dark money front, it would impose new disclosure requirements both on donations and on lobbying, and require presidents and vice presidents to release their tax returns.

Some of these things directly address bills that will be or have been introduced this session, while others would allow Democratic agenda items to bypass that insurmountable obstacle. HR1 also addresses redistricting, but it is not clear that it will address it for this reapportionment cycle or if it would wait till 2031. That seems like a risk to me, but it may also be a moot point if the legislation can’t be passed in a timely fashion. And of course, anything Congress passes will be litigated, and that which is not litigated will be subject to various weaselly attempts to get around it. So no matter what, this is a long-term story. But at least there’s a chance it could be one with a more affirming narrative.

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17 Comments

  1. Manny says:

    Only if they get rid of the filibuster, which they should as it was not the intention of the founding fathers to create such a monster. It was first created to support slavery and it is still be used to suppress the votes of minorities.

  2. blank says:

    Even if they get rid of the filibuster, which is unlikely, and they get it through the Senate, which is even more unlikely, then I could see SCOTUS tossing it out on a 10th Amendment or some such argument. I do think the Texas Democratic Party should try to pass something similar to it in the Texas Legislature though. Obviously, it won’t pass with the existing Legislature, but it would be nice to get the opposition on the record.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Blank,

    Why would you think SCOTUS would do anything but rubber stamp everything the Dem. super majority is going to do now? They, the SCOTUS, actively participated in getting us to this point, ergo, they support the agenda that is about to be unleashed on our country.

    I don’t expect the SCOTUS to do anything but nod and smile. Obviously even Kavanaugh and Barrett, despite having their characters assassinated, are going to go along to get along. It’s truly uniparty time.

  4. SocraticGadfly says:

    Such a bill, of course, would do nothing to curtail BOTH Rethuglicans and Democr*ps short-circuiting third-party and independent voting. For that, in Texas, I await the results of the federal civil case on Springer’s HB 2504. Knowing Kuff ain’t a fan of third parties, we’ve got to make sure people know things like this. https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2019/07/third-parties-sue-texas-over-hb-2504.html

  5. Manny says:

    Blank, I expect that they will get rid of the filibuster within 6 months.

    Why would the Supreme Court get rid of it, the constitution only calls for majority votes in the Senate.

  6. Lobo says:

    “uniparty time”

    That describes Texas for some years now (at the all-state level, ie where it matters most). Control of all three branches, which some call trifecta, and 9-out-of-9 totalitarianism at the apex of the Third Branch (King Abbott’s Court).

  7. blank says:

    @Bill & Manny–I’m not a lawyer or someone who follows SCOTUS particularly closely. However, my understanding of HR1 is that it would mitigate/address SCOTUS decisions in Citizens United, Shelby County, and Rucho. Consequently, I have a hard time believing that they would let HR1 stand as passed.

  8. Manny says:

    Okay, Blank what are you referring to? I mentioned the filibuster, somehow that became HR1, a completely different animal. The article was about the filibuster.

  9. blank says:

    @Manny

    I guess my pronouns were unclear. To restate: “Even if [Senate Democrats] get rid of the filibuster, which is unlikely, and [Senate Democrats] get [HR1] through the Senate, which is even more unlikely, then I could see SCOTUS tossing [HR1] out on a 10th Amendment or some such argument.”

    I think you and I are on the same page that SCOTUS can do nothing about the filibuster. That’s a senate rule, so whether it stays or goes is up to the Senate.

    We also agree that HR1 is a different animal from the filibuster. My comment, which is the conventional wisdom and referenced in Kuff’s linked article, is that HR1 only passes if the Senate gets rid of the filibuster. Specifically, the article states:

    [HR1] could be the legislation that breaks the filibuster…

    What the article is essentially saying is that Democrats want to pass HR1 so badly that Senate Democrats may end up scrapping the filibuster just to pass it.

    I think our only disagreement is on whether and when Senate Democrats get rid of the filibuster. You suggested that they will get rid of it within 6 months. I am doubtful that they get rid of it at all. That said, I hope you are right, but I’m more pessimistic.

  10. Manny says:

    Biden is already setting the stage for doing it. That is an opinion that I recently formed based on his executive orders that he just signed. He just signed some orders that take his agenda straight to the Fascist Party daring them to do something.

    They are working on Murkowski trying to get her to become independent and to caucus with the Democrats.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny, is anyone in your neighborhood going to be effected by the stoppage of the KeystoneXl pipeline? Do you have any refinery workers in your neighborhood that won’t be hired to build and staff the refinery expansions that will now not be built to process that Canadian tar sands oil? Any pipeline workers that have now lost their jobs? Welders? Operators? Close interval survey folks? Tree trimmers and mowers? Landmen? One call folks?

    Do you know any fascists personally that Biden just took it to by putting them out of work? Is this the way to take it to the fascists, by putting them out of work during a pandemic? And the weirdest part of all of this is, it turns out that Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM who is upset about the cancellation of this project, is also a fascist. At least he will be able to console his countrymen by ramping up railroad jobs to haul that tar sands oil to the coast, so it can be shipped by tanker to China, to be processed into gasoline, diesel, and other refined products in China’s super environmentally friendly refineries.

  12. Bill Daniels says:

    Any union members in your neighborhood, Manny?

    https://political-viewer.com/2021-01-21/american-workers-business-leaders-on-biden-axing-keystone-pipeline-slap-in-face-to-union-members

    Mark McManus, general president of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters, verbally expressed in a verbal expression:

    In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1. Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world.

    “Sadly, the Biden administration has now put thousands of cumulation workers out of work,” McManus verbally expressed. “For the average American family, it signifies energy costs will go up and communities will no longer visually perceive the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board additionally responded to Biden’s move, concluding that not only is it destructive to the U.S. economy but possibly illicit:

    Since 2000 the U.S. has led the world in energy-related emissions reductions as natural gas from shale hydraulic fracturing has replaced coal in power production. China’s Paris commitment doesn’t require it to cut emissions for another decade. Russia’s are set to rise for years. Last November Russian oil giant Rosneft launched a massive exploration project in the Arctic. “Mineral resources will remain a competitive advantage of Russia’s economy, and will determine the place and role of the country in the world,” Russia’s strategic mineral plan says.

    Killing Keystone won’t keep fossil fuels in the ground. It will merely strand billions of dollars in Canadian investment and kill thousands of U.S. jobs while enriching adversaries and alienating an ally. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has promised to “use all licit avenues available” to forfend its Keystone investment if Mr. Biden killed the pipeline.

    [TC Energy] can avail itself of Nafta’s investor-dispute settlement provision until June 2022, which would allow it to recoup its investment. The company also has a strong legal case that the U.S. Constitution gives Congress, not the President, power over foreign trade and that Mr. Biden’s reversal violates due process.”

    I bet union members will be surprised to discover that they, themselves, are, in actuality, the fascists in America.

  13. Manny says:

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling, that is what the Fascist/Republican Party excels at whining, lying, and leaving the country in worth debt than when they took over.

    I read the WSJ and the only difference between those fascists and the Fox fascists is, dang could not find a difference.

    As to the Plumber’s Union;

    The nation’s pipe fitting and plumbing union is throwing its weight behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the race for the White House, despite the former vice president’s opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

    The endorsement from the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters — UA for short — comes as Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), are set to formally accept the Democratic nomination this week.

    Mark McManus, the UA’s general president, acknowledged his union, which has 359,000 members in the United States and Canada, doesn’t see eye to eye with Biden on every issue but said the presumptive Democratic nominee is a longtime labor ally who wants to invest millions of dollars in water infrastructure projects that would employ its members.

    Whine, lie, do what you always do Bill, the fascist party will always do that.

  14. Manny says:

    worse debt

  15. Bill Daniels says:

    So, yes, then, the union members who voted for Biden who are now losing their jobs, or won’t have jobs available at the refineries going forward, are fascists. Got it. This might come as a surprise to those blue collar Biden voters, but I’m sure you can explain how all this is really for their own good, as they lose their houses, cars, boats, and their kids can no longer go to college.

  16. Bill Daniels says:

    More Biden sticking it to the fascists: Biden stops Trump EO reducing prescription drug prices!

    Screw those people with diabetes! Screw people who have severe allergies! Fascists!

    https://twitter.com/RupaliChadhaMD/status/1352610397979693060/photo/1

    Congrats, Manny, your vengeance has already started. I just feel sorry for all the Biden voters who have to suffer in order to punish the Trump supporters who have allergies and diabetes. Hey, Manny, isn’t diabetes a prevalent chronic issue in the Hispanic community? Are you enjoying sticking it to your fellow Hispanics?

  17. Manny says:

    Bill, something we agree on, we are both pro union.