Lawmakers push for Senate reform to pass two voting rights bills

South Carolina News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Democrats are fighting to change Senate rules in order to pass a voting rights act.

Republicans said the change would affect future legislation.

For South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, the fight to keep the rules of the senate intact are about future votes and mitigating political swings.

The fight between Democrats and Republicans is an age old battle. However, this recent stand-off could have lasting changes.

“If we change the legislative filibuster there would be an effort to pack the Supreme Court, there would be an effort to make Puerto Rico and DC a state, there be an effort to do away with the electoral college.” Senator, South Carolina (R), Lindsey Graham said.

At the heart of the debate for Democrats are two voting rights bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a majority of democrats wants them passed.

Standing in the way, however, are filibuster rules in the senate, making it necessary to secure 60 votes to pass any legislation.

“When the shoe was on the other foot in 2017 when the Republican had the White House, the Senate and the House and President Trump was putting a lot of pressure on us to change the rules of the senate. 61 Senators signed a letter basically to Senator McConnell and Shumer, the two leaders of the senate asking them to preserve the legislative filibuster.”  Senator Graham said.

A majority of Democrats are pushing to change the filibuster, in order to pass the bills by Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17th…

However, two democrats and all Republicans in the senate are against the change.

“They want to end the filibuster to pass a specific piece of legislation that will be the beginning of the end, I could have done that, I could have made an exception” Senator Graham said.

Senator Graham said he was against changing filibuster rules when President Trump was in office and that sentiment still stands.

“I’m going to oppose this and I’m doing the same thing now I did when we were in power. What’s changed is almost all the democrats who were for preserving the legislative filibuster when President Trump was President have now abandoned that and they’re trying to create a single exception to the legislative filibuster. Senator Graham said.

Senator Graham said he’ll go back to DC this week to talk about the issue and he hopes that more Democrats will get on board.  

The Senate is expected to hold another test vote on one or both voting rights bills this week.

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