Schumer to meet with Texas Democrats on voting rights
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that he will meet with Texas Democrats who are in Washington. D.C., after they left their state in order to block consideration of a bill that would change election laws.
“In Texas, where the Republican governor has called a special session to reconsider one of the most restrictive laws in the nation, Democrats are doing all they can to block the dangerous partisan bill. They are brave, they are bold, they are courageous and history will show them on the side of right,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
“I will be meeting with a group of them today,” Schumer said, adding that he would use the gathering to “praise them for what they are doing.”
The meeting comes as Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said that the state lawmakers, who left to deny Republicans a quorum to convene a special legislative session and consider a sweeping elections reform bill, will be arrested upon their return to the Lone Star State.
Members of the caucus carried out a similar effort in May, staging a walkout to block the passage of the elections procedures bill, which would have restricted access to the ballot box.
The meeting with Schumer comes after Texas Democrats previously briefed the Senate Democratic caucus on voting rights last month when they traveled to Washington, D.C. They also met with senators, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has offered changes to narrow a sweeping bill known as the For the People Act that would overhaul federal elections. Manchin told reporters he would meet with the group again on Tuesday.
However, Democrats’ voting rights legislation faces the threat of a GOP filibuster in the Senate, meaning any bill is stuck unless it can get the support of 10 GOP senators or Democratic leaders can unite all 50 Democratic votes behind nixing or changing the legislative filibuster.
Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are opposed to getting rid of the filibuster.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Politico that Biden should “endorse” the idea of creating a carveout to the filibuster specifically for legislation that applies to the Constitution.
Biden could “pick up the phone and tell Joe Manchin, ‘Hey, we should do a carveout,’” Clyburn said. “I don’t care whether he does it in a microphone or on the telephone — just do it.”