House Democrats press Schumer for vote on scrapping filibuster

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters following the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Greg Nash
Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters following the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Dozens of House Democrats are urging Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to abolish the filibuster amid the battle for abortion rights.

The group, led by Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.), highlighted the upcoming vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which is meant to protect abortion access, in a letter to the top Senate Democrat. The vote on Wednesday is expected to fail in the Senate, as Democrats need 10 Republicans to support the measure in the evenly divided chamber. 

“When voters gave Democrats control of the House, Senate, and the White House, they did so with the expectation that we would legislate boldly and do what is necessary to advance our fight for justice and economic prosperity,” the letter containing the signatures of more than 110 House Democrats, first obtained by The Washington Post, reads.

“The Senate must meet the moment, end the filibuster, and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act immediately.”

Schumer announced he would force a vote on the bill after a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion showed justices are poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the U.S. 

“Now that the court is poised to strike down Roe, it is my intention for the Senate to hold a vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion in law,” Schumer said. “A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise. This is as urgent and real as it gets. We’ll vote to protect a women’s right to choose.” 

The House Democrats’ letter points out that some members of the party have called for the elimination of the filibuster many times before, as the procedural tool has been used to block major issues on the Democratic agenda such as the voting rights legislation. 

However, the call for the filibuster elimination has failed repeatedly due to opposition from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (Ariz.).

Tags abortion Charles Schumer Filibuster Sean Casten

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