Democrats Prepared To Ram Through Major Bills Without GOP Support


The pretext of working together and finding common ground is wearing thin for House and Senate Democrats.

Democrats in both chambers are facing pressure from their base to do an end-run around Republican opposition on some key pieces of legislation if some agreements are not made soon.

The left-wing party is starting to warn that they will ram through bills without GOP support. 

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Going Forward With Or Without GOP

While talking to reporters in Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “We always hope that our Republican friends will work with us on things. … We hope to move forward with Republicans, but we’re not going to let them saying ‘no’ stand in our way.”

What Chuck Schumer did not say, is the fact that the filibuster is also standing in the Democrats’ way of ramrodding their agenda through the Senate.

Getting rid of the filibuster would give the Democrats in a 50-50 Senate a simple majority to pass any legislation, instead of the 60 votes usually needed to overcome a filibuster.

One of the biggest items on the agenda is President Biden’s so-called infrastructure plan.

Republicans have been attempting to counter Biden’s multi-trillion plan that includes hundreds of billions for non-infrastructure projects. On Thursday, they made a counteroffer of almost $1 trillion. 

But Joe Biden has put a Memorial Day deadline on any possible bipartisan infrastructure plan. And Democrats are running out of patience.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) says that it is getting “close” to the time when Democrats should just walk away, unless negotiators “make some progress really soon.” 

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Democrats Also Prepared To Move On Police Reform

Infrastructure is not the only high priority piece of legislation that Democrats want to get pushed through.

Getting a police reform bill passed before Tuesday’s one year anniversary of the death of George Floyd did not happen as they had wished.

One of the sticking points between Democrats and Republicans is a provision limiting qualified immunity, which protects individual officers from lawsuits.

Negotiators on the Justice In Policing Act include Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), and Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Corey Booker (D-NJ). One of the suggestions Sen. Scott has made would be to hold departments, instead of individual officers, liable in some civil cases.

Last year, Democrats filibustered the police reform bill offered by Scott – a black Republican.

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What The Democrats Really Want

The crowning achievement for Democrats would be to pass the sweeping radical overhaul of election law.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has called the effort, “… the biggest power grab in the history of the country.” 

H.R.1, or the “For The People Act,” would essentially federalize election standards to one uniform standard. The bill would also set mandatory 15-day early voting periods, relax same-day registration rules, and more.

Regarding the filibuster, Democrats face in-house opposition to ending it.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have repeatedly said they will not vote to end it. Manchin has criticized the use of budget reconciliation by both parties in the past.

One thing is certain. Democrats know they have a limited amount of time to push their agenda through the House and Senate before the midterm elections in 2022.

Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when he said, “We have a lot to do, and a limited amount of time.”

 

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