- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 6, 2022

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Democrats on Wednesday for exploiting the anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol in their efforts to overhaul the filibuster and rewrite America’s voting laws. 

Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, argued from the Senate floor it was “beyond distasteful” for Democrats to “invoke the Jan. 6 anniversary to advance” partisan aims. 

“A year ago the Senate didn’t bend and it didn’t break. We held strong,” he said. “It is jaw-dropping for colleagues to propose to commemorate that by breaking the Senate themselves in a different way.”

In the lead-up to the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot, Democratic leaders have increasingly used the incident as the basis for calls to jettison the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold and pass a partisan voting bill. 

“Let me be clear: January 6th was a symptom of a broader illness — an effort to delegitimize our election process — and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration. They will be the new norm,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. 

The White House has been pushing a major overhaul of the country’s voting laws since President Biden took office a year ago. Their bill would expand vote-by-mail, provide for the taxpayer funding of electoral campaigns, supersede state voter ID laws and impose new restrictions on state redistricting. 

The bill, which passed the House last year, has failed in the Senate repeatedly because of a GOP filibuster. In an effort to secure its passage, Democrats are now considering using a parliamentary procedure to blow up the filibuster by a simple-majority vote. 

“No party that would trash the Senate’s legislative traditions can be trusted to seize control over election laws all across America,” said Mr. McConnell. “Nobody who is this desperate to take over our democracy on a one-party basis can be allowed to do it.”

Since the Senate is split 50-50, any attempt to change the rules would require support from all 50 Senate Democrats and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained a typo in a quote from Mr. McConnell about the Senate‘s legislative traditions.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide