As the new Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer spoke to MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton; he said that addressing “climate, racial inequality, economic inequality, and democracy” are top priorities.
The plan includes automatic voter registration and statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico and even ends the Senate’s filibuster.
“Well, Rev., we have one goal: big, bold change in America. We want the Republicans to join us in some of those things at least, and maybe they will. But we are going to get that change no matter what,” the senator said.
“We cannot — there is such a demand, three huge issues we have to do: climate, huge issue facing the country, racial and economic inequality, which has gotten worse, not better, which demands change and justice in a big, bold way, and improving our democracy,” he added.
He then went on, going into the details of what he and the Democrats plan to do.
“Making D.C. a state, automatic voter registration, getting rid of Citizens United, all the things embodied in H.R. 1, which the House passed and McConnell would block up, but we’re going to fight to pass it in the Senate,” Schumer said.
“That’s why we’ve made it S 1. So, climate, racial inequality, economic inequality, and democracy, improving our democracy, letting people vote much more easily, dealing with D.C. and Puerto Rican statehood, dealing with bad money that flows in. The John Lewis Act, undoing the horrible decisions the court made, which defanged the Voting Rights Act, and that’s why Republicans have gotten away with taking people’s right away to vote for the last four years,” he continued.
Sharpton then asked Schumer, “What about the filibuster?” because, as it stands, the Republicans can stop each of the actions he talked about by utilizing the filibuster.
“Well, as I’ve said, we will find a way to do big, bold change. And our caucus will sit down and figure it out, but failure is not an option. We must create change,” he said.
That means that he would need all 50 votes from the Democrats and the tiebreaker from Vice President Kamala Harris to end the filibuster.
Former President Donald Trump had also wanted to end the filibuster, but former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused.
“If Senate Republicans don’t get rid of the Filibuster Rule and go to a 51% majority, few bills will be passed. 8 Dems control the Senate!” Trump had written in a tweet.
“The very outdated filibuster rule must go. Budget reconciliation is killing Rs in the Senate. Mitch M, go to 51 votes NOW and WIN. IT’S TIME!” he said in another.
But still, McConnell was not fazed.
“There is an overwhelming majority on a bipartisan basis not interested in changing the way the Senate operates on the legislative calendar. And that will not happen,” he said.