With a Voting Rights Bill on the table and Republicans around the country mounting hundreds of voter suppression efforts?
Black leaders do NOT want a Senate vote for the Voting Rights Bill to be held up by the chambers super majority rules…..And that means pressuring West Virginia DEMOCRATIC Senator Manchin ….
Black civil rights leaders, voting rights advocates and elected officials are ramping up their lobbying of Senate Democrats to nix the filibuster, arguing that they can keep the rule in place or pass voting rights legislation, but not both.
In a half-dozen interviews, top officials framed the choice as existential for a party that depends on Black and brown voters — and they are planning pressure campaigns both privately and publicly to make that clear.
Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader and former presidential candidate, said in an interview that he and others have begun talks to hold town halls and rallies in the home states of senators like Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who have said they opposed scrapping the filibuster.
“The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism,” Sharpton said. “Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that.”
Manchin remains one of the key votes on any voting rights legislation, like he is for most of the Democratic Party’s agenda in the Senate, where they hold just 50 votes. But he is being targeted specifically by voting rights advocates because he remains the only Senate Democrat not to sign on as a co-sponsor of the For the People Act — which would drastically transform nearly every aspect of the American electoral system, from campaign financing to how elections are conducted….
Lawmakers and advocates have increasingly recognized that any voting rights-centric legislation — like the For the People Act or the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, which was named after the late civil rights crusader and would restore preclearance key provisions of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 — cannot pass in an evenly divided Senate that maintains the filibuster, since Republicans remain united in opposition to the bills.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to let either bill see the floor when he controlled the Senate. And during Wednesday’s hearing on the For the People Act — known as H.R. 1 or S.1 — Republicans on the Senate Rules committee, including McConnell, lit into the bill.
Facing that GOP opposition, activists have called for scrapping the filibuster entirely, or for creating a carve-out specifically for voting rights legislation…..