Democrats plot next steps on new election rules with a focus on Georgia
The Democratic-led Senate Rules Committee plans to move ahead with a series of hearings, including in Georgia, calling for passage of new legislation — as well as to spotlight Republican-led efforts at the state level to enact restrictive measures in the wake of the growth of mail-in voting during the 2020 election season.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, plans to hold a field hearing in Georgia, along with a series of other hearings that she says will draw attention to GOP efforts at the state level and renew calls for the Democratic push for a broader bill at the federal level.
“This fight has just begun,” Klobuchar said in a statement to CNN. “That’s why, as chairwoman of the Rules Committee, I am announcing a series of hearings on the urgent need to pass critical voting, campaign finance, and ethics reforms, including a field hearing in Georgia to hear testimony on the recently enacted legislation to restrict voting in the state.”
The move underscores the legislative reality for Democrats: They lack 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster in the 50-50 Senate and are looking for ways to keep the issue front and center in the run-up to the midterms next year.
Even if Democrats were to break up their sweeping bill, which Republicans say is tantamount to a federal takeover of state-run elections, they would almost certainly still fall short of a supermajority to pass legislation on an issue that badly divides the two parties.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer refused to say what his next steps would be on the voting issue. And he would not take off the table an effort to gut the 60-vote threshold, even though there’s not enough support to do that.
“As I said, we are not going to put the cart before the horse. We are going to have the vote, then we will discuss the future,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday when asked about the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.