Schumer: ‘Senate Must Advance Systemic Reforms’ Due To Jan 6
“Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness, an effort to delegitimize our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic reforms to repair our democracy or else the events of that day will not be an aberration—they will be the new norm,” he declared on Monday:
His call comes days ahead of the year anniversary of the protest, which has remained a point of contention among Democrats and Republicans over the course of the last year.
Indeed, Democrats have revealed their plan to use January 6 to pursue voting legislation. On Monday, Schumer penned a letter explaining his intention to hold a vote to change filibuster rules, as he expects Republicans to filibuster Democrat voting bills — “The Freedom to Vote Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”
The Freedom to Vote Act would make permanent the temporary voting expansion options put into place in the November 2020 election, expanding early voting and making voting-by-mail easier. It would also loosen voter ID requirements, allowing voters to present a wider range of identification cards and documents.The bill would also make Election Day a legal public holiday.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would replace part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013 and would restore Justice Department review of changes in election law in states with a history of discrimination.
Schumer wrote in part:
Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol nearly one year ago, Republican officials in states across the country have seized on the former president’s Big Lie about widespread voter fraud to enact anti-democratic legislation and seize control of typically non-partisan election administrative functions.
We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?
We hope our Republican colleagues an change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.
Both President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to speak on January 6. Former President Trump will also be holding a press conference the same day at Mar-a-Lago.✪