Recent years have been marked by deep uncertainty and danger to the health of American democracy. A new report shows that the Senate filibuster is one of the main reasons why efforts to protect democracy may be failing.
According to a new report from Common Cause, the Senate filibuster has been at least partially responsible for blocking the passage of 17 out of 18 pro-democracy legislative texts that have come to a vote in Congress before the House or the Senate in 2021 and 2022, according to the group’s analysis of votes for each piece of legislation. The analysis was first reported by Insider.
The 117th Congress considered a variety of pro-democracy resolutions and bills. The For the People ActThe, which combats dark money in elections and expands voter access, to impeachmentDonald Trump for his attempt at provoking a violent overturning of the 2020 election.
Other bills include The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement ActA bill that would have strengthened rules against racial discrimination during voting would have been the, Washington, D.C. was granted statehoodAnd The Protecting Our Democracy ActThese would have placed limits on presidential power in response to Trump.
None of these bills have passed Congress, likely because they were either blocked by the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold or never came to a vote because of their likelihood of being blocked by the filibuster.
Voting rights advocates hail many of these bills like the For the People Act as essential to defeat Republican attempts to suppress the vote. Since 2021 and as of May, lawmakers in 18 states have passed 34 laws aimed at suppressing voters — many of which disproportionately affect voters of color.
Only one of the measures Common Cause analyzed was approved by Congress: Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act, which passed unanimously In the Senate strengthensFor federal judges and the Supreme Court, disclosure of financial holdings and stock trades is required.
“In the end, with high levels of support in Congress and an overwhelming outpouring of public support, Congress ran into one of the reasons our democracy needs to be modernized: the filibuster,” Common Cause wrote of Democrats’ attempt to pass the For the People Act last year.
Even if conservative Democrats Senators Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) had been on board with the bill and given it a majority of 51 votes, “the arcane Senate procedure known as the filibuster requiring super majorities just to debate an issue, prevented the Democrats from passing major democracy reform and voting rights legislation or the Republicans from considering negotiating in good faith to get to 60 votes,” the group wrote.
The report supports the argument that progressives as well as some Democrats have been making for many years: The Senate filibuster prevents legislators from effectively legislating. attacks on democracy, which currently largely comes from the right. Opponents to the filibuster Also, say It is.It is used to block climate change action that is vital to keeping a planet livable. workers’ rightsAdvance Protections for abortion rightsYou can find out more.
Common Cause also tracked votes to support pro-democracy measures by each member of Congress in their analysis. The 535 voting members of Congress are listed below. only 101 members earnedVoting for each measure was a perfect score. All 101 of those members were Democrats and progressives.