Breaking: US Senate preserves filibuster, blocking Orwellian-named “For The People” HR-1

The word “filibuster” comes from the Spanish filibustero , freebooter. In a parliamentary context, it means a delaying tactic aimed at delaying a vote (e.g., because your coalition whips are still rounding MPs or MKs up). Endless speeches are one filibuster technique: here in Israel, a favored technique is submitting hundreds or thousands of trivial amendments to a law, each of which is guaranteed a minimum discussion time.

In the US Senate, a device named “cloture” exists where a supermajority of 60 senators can vote to end debate on a law and bring it to a vote. This normally guarantees that truly controversial laws cannot be voted through on narrow majorities.

The cynically named HR-1, “For The People”, which would effectively end all forms of voter identity verification and guarantee a perpetual one-party state through legalized ballot stuffing, passed the house on a razor-thin margin, and could just barely pass the Senate “thanks” to the tie-breaking vote of the Vice President. Fortunately, it stays in procedural limbo there without “cloture”, and the Deemocratic [sic] Party just lost that vote: the Senate divided 50:50 on party lines, 10 votes short of what is required.

“This is an extraordinarily cynical bill, in my opinion, even by Washington standards. It’s very ruthless, even by Washington standards,” Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said Tuesday on Fox News.

“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Senator Schumer call it, I think, the ‘For The People Act,’ but I think it would be more aptly described as the Screw the People Act. It will make it much easier to cheat in an election,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said that bill contained a “rotten core: an assault on the fundamental idea that states, not the federal government, should decide how to run their own elections.”

In his Tuesday floor remarks before the vote, McConnell lambasted “Democrats’ transparently partisan plan to tilt every election in America permanently in their favor. By now, the rotten inner workings of this power grab have been thoroughly exposed to the light.”

“It’s a recipe for undermining confidence in our elections. For remaking our entire system of government to suit the preferences of one far end of the political spectrum,” he said.

Powerline wonders if this is the week where the wheels start coming off the regressive“progressive” bus. Apparentlyy, according to a Monmouth poll the abolition of voter ID is not only deeply unpopular with the US electorate at large but remains so even with D voters (62% of whom support voter ID, compared to 87% of independents and 91% of R). In fact, minorities who are supposedly “disenfranchized” by voter ID are more likely (84%) to support voter ID than white voters (77%).

Powerline also includes data on what percent of the electorate already possesses some form of government ID: 93.71% of blacks, 95.25% of Hispanics, 97.7% of whites, and 98.78% of Asians.

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