Bad Day For Biden His Voters Right Act Appears To Be Dead In The Water

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  1. Sharlee01 profile image84
    Sharlee01posted 10 months ago

    https://hubstatic.com/15855541_f1024.jpg

    Biden’s promise to update Voting Rights Act hits Senate roadblock
    President Joe Biden's campaign promise to update the Voting Rights Act has hit a roadblock in the Senate today, threatening a key campaign promise made by Biden about civil rights.

    Biden's live statement to press ---  https://www.c-span.org/video/?517237-1/ … ing-rights

    Once again President Biden stuck his neck out on Capitol Hill today to attempt to save his wounded agenda.   Just as he tried to resolve myriad disputes on his domestic spending plan BBB, Biden is wading directly into a protracted battle within his own party over weakening the Senate filibuster.  After flip-flopping from defender to a critic of the chamber's 60-vote requirement to pass most bills — which has been a roadblock to many of his top priorities — Biden today visited  Senate Democrats to emphatically argue for changing the Senate rules to pass a party-line election reform bill.

    However,  it appears impossible for the president to move two of his party's most ardent filibuster defenders, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) or Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), off their defense of the Senate’s supermajority requirement.

    As he left the meeting this afternoon he was clearly pissed off and gave a few words that indicated his visit was unsuccessful. And then he left without answering questions from the press. He did state ---   "I hope we can get this done. The honest to god answer is I don't know whether we can get this done," Biden said. "I hope we can get this done, but I'm not sure. But one thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along if we miss the first time we can come back and try a second time." Source for Biden statement --  https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/13/politics … index.html

    And then the cherry on top of today's Choco - Choco - Chip sundae --- the Supreme Court followed his lousy day with a ruling that blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies.  ( He lucked out here because IMO, this was going to be another problem that would lead to disaster, and a lower confidence poll for Biden).

    However, the conservative-majority court allowed similar requirements to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments. ( This  mandate will lead to mare healthcare shortages, and a large problem for Biden, one he created, once again himself.)

    It would seem his agenda is very much stuck in the mud.

    Should he continue with, what appears to be failing political strategies or reevaluate those strategies?
     
    And --  Where does Biden go from here to keep his campaign promises?

    1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
      Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

      For me, this goes beyond President Biden's agenda and will be an issue for the legislative agendas of presidents going forward regardless of party. The issue is the Filibuster.
      Empowering a minority to routinely strangle legislation favored by the majority is counterproductive, even eroding democracy.

      First, it violates the central democratic principle of majority rule.  It allows a minority of 41 senators to control the legislative process and prevent the majority from passing bills.  A good example of this was a 2013 Senate bill to expand background checks for gun ownership – something supported by a huge majority of Americans. The Senate voted 54 to 46 to pass the bill, but the measure failed because it did not meet the artificial 60 vote threshold necessary to stop a Republican filibuster. The 46 senators who blocked the bill represented 65 million Americans, while the 54 senators who supported the bill represented 250 million Americans!

      But the unfairness of this kind of minority rule can be even worse than that. You can get 41 senators from small states that represent as little as 10% of the American electorate. This means that one in ten Americans can block bills that nine out of ten Americans want. This built in ability to frustrate the political will of the overwhelming majority is a ridiculous situation in any country which calls itself a democracy.

      It is being used to strangle the federal government and it undermines efforts to create a healthy and functioning democracy in this country.

      We have effectively substituted rule by majority, which is what the founders intended, for tyranny of the minority with the filibuster. Filibuster rules allowing 41 senators to halt legislation effectively empower a group of Republican senators representing just 22% of the population to gridlock the government. We need change on this.

      1. Sharlee01 profile image84
        Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

        President Joe Biden has been increasingly critical of the Senate filibuster, calling it a Jim Crow relic and saying it has been widely abused. Yet, his own party used filibuster 327 times, compared to only once by GOP in 2020.
         
        MITCH MCCONNELL: "Twenty years ago, there was no talk, none whatsoever, of tearing down long-standing minority rights on legislation. The legislative filibuster is a crucial part of the Senate. Leading Democrats like President Biden himself have long defended it. Democrats themselves just spent six years using it liberally to block bills from Senator Tim Scott's police reform to coronavirus relief. And less than four years ago, when it was Republicans who held the Senate, the House, and the presidency, 27 current Democrats, plus Vice-President Harris, signed a letter insisting this long-standing rule should not be broken."

        In my view, the filibuster has served us well and promoted open discussion, and is a great tool for the people's voices to be heard, even if in the minority.

        It would appear the Founders believed that passions alone are not necessarily reliable guides to pass laws. They believed and encouraged deliberation. To the extent that we jettison greater deliberation, like that which the filibuster forces upon the Senate. The filibuster slows down the Senate and makes them think carefully before they act.

        Many people believe a filibuster is an important tool for the minority party to block the majority from enacting its agenda unilaterally.  By empowering the minority, the Senate maintains strong checks and balances on the legislative. When the Senate is up against a bill that appears a 50/50 split it alerts them that half of American's are for, half are against...  The filibuster allows for debate, and yes in most incidence the bill will be shot down, in reality, to just keep a close minority happy.   But, one must consider when a bill is so split, would it be wise to even entertain passing it?  The filibuster is there to respect the people especially when the minority comes close to being tied with the majority.  To keep the people's wishes, one must realize that perhaps half the country would not be pleased with the law, and perhaps just consider it as a split, and can the bill.

        If the minority is far from the majority as a rule a bill will pass without a problem.   So the majority, as a rule, wins out, as they should. It just becomes a problem when there is a very close split in support. This is where the filibuster is useful.

        I feel the filibuster is an important tool to keep a fine balance in Congress being able to represent the citizens they were sent to Washington to represent.  Ultimately that is Congresses job.

        Thank you Faye for commenting, your comments always make me stop and think...

      2. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 10 months agoin reply to this

        But the Senate does not "control" the legislative process; it can only control what is deemed undesirable and therefore not enacted into law.  Even the entire Senate cannot enact a law with 100% vote...if the House disapproves. 

        If a bill cannot garner support from at least 60% of Senators, can it actually be a good bill?  Should a tiny majority (51%) be able to control the entire country, or should we require that only laws with considerably more support be enacted?  Do we no longer concern ourselves with the minority, protecting their rights and wishes as well as a majority?  And finally, are we a republic of states or just a conglomerate of people that will run roughshod over any minority opinions at will?

        1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
          Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

          Sharlee & Wilderness, I appreciate all the points that you brought up. There are valid and this is a large, multifaceted issue.
          Let me just hit on one part of it for consideration:

          Right now, the Senate is split evenly in half, but the 50 Democratic senators represent 41.5 million more people than the 50 Republican senators.
          By 2040, if population trends continue, 70% of Americans will be represented by just 30 senators, and 30% of Americans by 70 senators. 

          That has lots of implications, such as for the Senate filibuster, where a party that represents a shrinking minority of voters can block almost all major legislation.

          We will  have this sort of turbocharged minority rule. An institution chosen by people who were picked by a minority of the citizens. That's not a sustainable model for a representative democracy, is it?

          I'm struggling to see how the majority, in terms of the sheer number of people Is really being represented?

          1. Readmikenow profile image95
            Readmikenowposted 10 months agoin reply to this

            You may want to study some history.

            Specifically, James Madison and his belief of the Tyranny of the Majority.  You need to understand the United States is NOT a democracy.  In this case the majority of people make all the decisions.  The United States is a Representative Republic.  People elect representative to represent their voice in government.

            "The Founders were determined to forestall the inherent dangers of what James Madison called “the tyranny of the majority.” So they constructed something more lasting: a republic. Something with checks and balances. A system of government carefully balanced to safeguard the rights of both the majority and the minority."

            https://www.heritage.org/conservatism/c … e-majority

            If you simply let the majority constantly rule without the influence of the minority opinion, they would constantly be in power.  The states with the smaller populations would not feel their voice was heard or that they had any say in government.  When this happens, populations of smaller states would break from the union.  Our country would be severely weakened.

            Like it or not, the voice of the smaller populations being heard is essential to keep our country united. 

            The filibuster is essential.  The Democrats complain about it NOW because they have 50 senators.  How will they feel about it when they're the minority party in the Senate?  How will they feel about it when Republicans can't pass legislation Democrats don't like because they can't get 60 votes?  They'll praise the filibuster.

            The political pendulum swings both ways from election cycle to election cycle.  It's the way it's been since the beginning of the country.

            1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
              Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

              I understand history quite well. Yes, James Madison in Federalist #51 worried about the “tyranny of the majority,” but what we have now is “tyranny of the minority.” The Constitution was meant to foster a complex form of majority rule, not enable minority rule. Enabling sustained minority rule at the national level is not a feature of our constitutional design, but a perversion of it.

              We are sliding into minority rule:

              Republicans have won the popular vote for president only once in the last 20 years but have controlled the presidency for 12 years of those two decades.

              The House of Representatives does represent by population, but the number of representatives was capped at 435 in 1929 when the population of the U.S was one-third the current size. Adjustments should be made.

              Republican senators represent 144,725,500 voters while
              Democratic senators represent 186,274,500 voters.

              Quite honestly, The more that Republicans find themselves in the national minority, the more they resort to such anti-democratic tactics as racial gerrymandering, selective closure of polling places, racially targeted voter ID requirements, phantom allegations of voter fraud, and extralegal purges of the voter rolls, as well as routine use of the filibuster.

              1. Sharlee01 profile image84
                Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

                It is more than apparent we have already slid into minority rules. This is not new, in any respect.  It would seem like many flip-flops back and forth when it benefits a narrative. Congress shows so much hypocrisy in regard to using the filibuster in my view they appear foolish to take a podium and change their views so frequently.

                "The filibuster, which allows the Senate minority party to block legislation by refusing to end debate, has been used by both Democrats and Republicans, almost always while occupying the Senate minority.

                While filibusters are used frequently, they are only recorded when a cloture vote is called by the majority party, which can end a debate with 60 votes.

                During the 2019-2020 Congressional term, a record-breaking 328 filibusters were recorded with Democrats in the minority.

                Since 2009, 657 filibusters were recorded under Democratic minorities while 609 filibusters were recorded under Republican minorities.

                Research by Slate on filibusters between 1991 and 2008 found that Democrats successfully filibustered 63 times while Republicans successfully filibustered 89 times."
                https://repustar.com/fact-briefs/do-bot … ilibusters

                As you see the Democrats used the filibuster in 2020 328 times a record-breaker.  So, where do we go as citizens to be heard on the perhaps overuse of the filibuster?  It has become a tool to freeze a president's agenda. 

                Ultimately the Senators are supporting their parties' agenda. Most of the time citizens approve of the filibuster being used if it pushes their party agenda.  Is this not the truth?  I can remember in 2020 Democrats well supporting the filibuster when it suited them. As I am thankful for it now, due to being firmly against BBB and the Voters Act.  The tool is very handy when it suits one's purpose. The country is divided, and it's clear the filibuster is stopping bills on both sides. exsample

                "However, Senate Democrats had no problem using the filibuster when the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, meant to mandate` care be provided for babies that survive an abortion attempt, was being pushed by Senate Republicans. Forty-one Democratic senators voted to block the born-alive bill by filibustering the legislation and preventing it from advancing to a floor vote."

                Would have you personally wanted this to pass into law?  I did...
                But, I looked at it as perhaps half the country did not want this to pass, and moved on. 

                In regard to gerrymandering ---   You do realize that we just had a 10-year census done. I assume when you speak of gerrymandering you may be referring to Georgia? When a state's population grows they are by Federal law to redraw the district lines as that population grows.

                Please consider this --- Georgia's 14 United States representatives and 236 state legislators are all elected from political divisions called districts. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States census. Federal LAW stipulates that districts MUST have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. 

                Do you feel states should ignore Federal law?

                Hopefully, you have looked into some of the new voter laws in some of the states you may be concerned with.  All states post their voting laws.

                1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                  Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                  Yes, you've hit the nail on the head for me Plus given me much more to chew on but I'll try to tackle that later.

                  This is the essence of the filibuster issue for me: This poll as well as others that I won't overburden this post with clearly show that a majority of Americans favor the voting rights bill. Yet it is being stymied by the minority party.  Views/ positions of the minority are clearly subverting the majority.  Plus as I said earlier it's also very frustrating to see that there was no real effort to negotiate or deliberate on the bill. Even Senator Sinema really missed the mark in her speech, seeking more to shine a spotlight on herself than provide a real path forward to bipartisanship.  Yes, the filibuster is being treated as an immediate button to push stop on any bill rather than the true deliberative mechanism it was intended to be. Shame on many of them at this point.

                  The Freedom to Vote Act, which will be brought up this week in the Senate? Many of its core provisions receive majority support from Americans :

                  — Expanding access to early voting: 65% support, 23% oppose
                  — Prohibiting partisan gerrymandering: 64% support, 19% oppose
                  — Making it illegal to prevent someone from registering to vote: 62% support, 24% oppose
                  — Making Election Day a federal holiday: 61% support, 26% oppose
                  — Expanding same-day voter registration: 56% support, 30% oppose
                  — Expanding access to voting by mail: 55% support, 35% oppose
                  — Allowing Americans with prior criminal convictions to vote: 54% support, 32% oppose
                  — Expanding automatic voter registration: 51% support, 33% oppose.
                  https://www.politico.com/newsletters/pl … hts-495693

                  I want to be very clear though if the parties were reversed on this, I would still feel the same. My problem is with a minority party and in this case representing a minority of the population killing a bill that has support by a majority of Americans by way of the filibuster.   I don't know the value of a mechanism that seems to be increasingly used for purely partisan reasons.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                    "Plus as I said earlier it's also very frustrating to see that there was no real effort to negotiate or deliberate on the bill."

                    This is what I said earlier; there is no effort being made on hardly anything to compromise and come to a solution acceptable to all with no one "clicking their heels" happy.  This is not the fault of the rules; it is the fault of massive division, massive concern for party politics and an attitude of "my way or the highway".  When it becomes like that isn't it best NOT to implement legislation that only 51% of the Senate approves of?

                    Example: You approve of the bill - would you vote for the same things you listed but without the final four?  You show over 60% support for the first 4, would you accept only those?  Our legislature won't; they will demand nothing less than all of it...and then fail to get any of it, blaming the other party for their terrible, evil decision not to support something that 90% of Americans want and the nation so desperately needs.  Or so they will claim; that is always the claim.

                  2. Readmikenow profile image95
                    Readmikenowposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                    Majority of Americans also want voter ID laws, which this doesn't provide.

                    I wonder why?

                    POLL: Majority of Dems, Non-White Voters Support Voter ID Laws

                    https://news.yahoo.com/poll-majority-de … 29851.html

                2. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                  Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                  Do you feel states should ignore Federal law?

                  No, they should not and that's at the basis of my concern around gerrymandering.

                  District maps shouldn't be toyed with or manipulated to the detriment of voters.

                  The Ohio Supreme Court recently got it right when they said:
                  "When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins."

                  https://www.cleveland.com/news/2022/01/ … ander.html

                  1. Sharlee01 profile image84
                    Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

                    l admit I have not researched the new Ohio map. Although, I do know there are rules that need to be followed to reconfigure a map, and mostly it is configured on population. Perhaps the census promoted them to mess around with their map.  I do know  Ohio in 2020 took a share red turn. Not sure why they would need to cook the books.

                    "District maps shouldn't be toyed with or manipulated to the detriment of voters."

                    Toyed with or changed due to population as the law requires?

                    I will need to look into the link you offered. Did they skirt laws in making the new map?

                  2. Ken Burgess profile image84
                    Ken Burgessposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                    Politics is a dirty game.

                    Ballot stuffing has always gone on, and with the changes made for the 2020 election it has never been easier to "fix" elections.

                    Computers that have no paper trail are easy to manipulate, Mail-In Ballots are easy to manipulate, and when one extends an election well past its end date, all sorts of efforts can be made by all sorts of unscrupulous individuals.

                    I am not going to debate the matter, but I do want to point out that without those changes made to how the election was run, in PA for example, Trump would have won the state, not Biden. PA is not the sole state where this is the case.

                    In my opinion voting should be made harder, not easier.  Voting should be like anything else of value that you hold dear, something you have to work to maintain... like a Driver's License, a Professional License, etc.

                    You should be made to give some token effort at least, with proof of identification being given at the voting site. Extra-ordinary effort should be made to verify the legitimacy of any ballot not cast in person.

                    It shouldn't be as simple as having access to a cellphone and you click on an App to vote, it should not be as simple as requesting a Mail-In ballot and then mailing it in.

                    How many elderly suffering with dementia or some other ailment had a Mail-In ballot cast for them by a clever relative?  How many false Mail-In ballots were created and then added to the count?  How many computers that tallied the ballots are tampered with?

                    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/electi … g-n1112436

                    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbauma … e-n2581624

                    The more effort is made to make sure 'anyone and everyone can vote' the more certain you can be that the politics and policies that shape our country will not be beneficial to the wellbeing of the nation... when those who are responsible individuals that contribute in good faith and effort to our society have their votes diluted or fraudulently changed, then you no longer have a system that will serve the people, in particular the working class that uphold the pillars of society and keep it functional. Instead it will serve the interests of those who "count the votes".

              2. Readmikenow profile image95
                Readmikenowposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                Republican senators represent 144,725,500 voters while
                Democratic senators represent 186,274,500 voters.

                To that I say "So?"  You're missing some key points.

                1. Not all Democrats voters vote the same way and not all Republicans voters vote the same way.  So, the numbers of the population of each party are meaningless.  There were a number of democrats who voted for President Donald Trump.

                2. Politicians are elected representatives.  This means they have to worry about reelection.  Their job is to represent the interest of their Constituents.  They know if they don't, they will lose their job.

                3. Manchin from WV and Sinema from AZ know that by taking the stand that they have on these issues; they are more likely to be reelected.  That is the reason they are taking these stands.  As politicians, this is the ONLY reason they take their positions on the issues.

                4.  I think this shows not the power of the Republican party but the power of conservatism in our country.  This transcends political parties.  Liberalism is just not as popular as liberals would want you to believe.

                I worked with a Senator years ago and I can tell you, they are contacted regularly by various groups as well as voters, state and local politicians and more.  They regularly take polls to find out the position of their constituents on different issues.  This is done by all Senators and Congressmen because they want to be reelected.

                So, you see, the system works.  The will of the people it spoken through their elected representatives.

          2. GA Anderson profile image89
            GA Andersonposted 10 months agoin reply to this

            I don't think this issue is multifaceted at all. Consider this as, (I hope), a piece of common agreement: that the Senate was created to be the `reason' of the people's voice and the House was created to be the `emotional' voice of the people—all of its varied segments, (hence the larger number), and all of its wants and desires, (the zeal and emotion of the voice).

            If that is agreeable, then I think your use of numbers of constituents as a comparative focus is off-mark. The force of the numbers can't be the sole consideration of a reasoned representation. Neither now, nor in the future.

            It seems you are a pure democracy advocate. Your perspective seems to be one of the majority rules in any instance—period. That isn't what we are or were intended to be. And that's as I think it should be.

            GA

          3. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 10 months agoin reply to this

            Again, you indicate the possibility of a "turbocharged minority rule, implying that a minority will control the country.

            But that minority cannot pass any legislation.  It cannot change any laws it doesn't like.  It thus does not have control at all...except to veto new legislation that it does not like. 

            To a point I do not find this objectionable, and that point includes the 60% ruling.  Again, if 40% of the people do not support new legislation it cannot be very good and should be discarded or modified to something that is acceptable to all.

            One of the bigger problems that we are seeing is a refusal to cooperate and compromise; everyone demands what they want and only what they want.  Compromise is foreign to our political scene today, with the possible exception of compromise today in order to expand to what we really want tomorrow. 

            The way the Senate operates is an exercise in forcing compromise, wherein that majority does not have total control over anything and everything.

            1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
              Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months agoin reply to this

              In theory, the filibuster should expand the representativeness of government. By Manchin's and Sinema's lights, requiring 60 votes encourages senators to work across the aisle, bring more voices to the table, and honor the views of the most Americans possible.

              It requires mutual commitment - a minority willing to work with the majority. If the minority can simply hold the majority hostage, representative government is subverted, not served. Elected officials only hold power for a limited time. Sacrificing the will of the many to that of the few in this brief period defeats the point of holding elections.

              If Manchin and Sinema want to protect minority rights without surrendering to minority rule, the purpose behind delays must matter. Time spent building a broader consensus is not the same as time spent merely obstructing. This is where unconditional allegiance to the filibuster falls short.

              Republican senators have relentlessly attacked the bill, offering no meaningful alternative or narrower proposal. Democratic senators, meanwhile, heard input from Republican and Democratic officials throughout the country and prepared responsive changes. Yet, when many of those amendments came to a vote in committee, Republicans rejected them too. Why? Because Republicans didn't want to improve or narrow the bill; they wanted to kill it.

              In response, Manchin pivoted to another bill. Predictably, Republicans shot that down too. Why compromise when you can insist on your own terms? 

              The filibuster isn't facilitating cooperation - it's enabling minoritarian capture. Whatever merits it might've had when used on rare occasions (and its racist history shows "compromise" isn't always noble), the modern filibuster is now used so frequently it undermines the very goal that Manchin and Sinema hold dear: consensus-building.

              I don't know, maybe it's time to bring the talking filibuster back.

              1. GA Anderson profile image89
                GA Andersonposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                Hell yeah! I agree the filibuster action should be just that—an action. It should return to being at least a "talking filibuster.

                GA

  2. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
    Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months ago

    Yes, Mr Trump. It's time to put the filibuster to rest.

    "President Trump went after Senate Republicans in a series of tweets Saturday morning, calling for an end to the filibuster."
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-call … ike-fools/

    "President Donald Trump had a simple message for Senate Republicans during a meeting at the White House on Tuesday: Kill the filibuster now, before Chuck Schumer and the Democrats do."
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/ … ter-677151

    "If Republican Senate doesn't get rid of the Filibuster Rule & go to a simple majority, which the Dems would do, they are just wasting time!" Trump tweeted Wednesday".
    https://thehill.com/homenews/administra … filibuster

    "The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!" Trump tweeted."
    https://thehill.com/homenews/administra … filibuster

    "President Trump tweeted Saturday that the Republicans in the Senate "look like fools" and should do away with the filibuster"
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol … 522465001/

    Or has he flip-flopped on these views??

 
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