Voting-rights advocates are seething over the near-total stagnation in Washington. But they see a new opening with the filibuster.
When President Joe Biden recently floated the possibility for a filibuster carveout for raising the debt limit, supporters leapt at the chance to bypass the supermajority threshold for efforts to expand access to the ballot.
“Once you make an exception for something as existential as raising the debt ceiling, it makes it much easier to do the same for something as existential as democracy itself,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), who has long called for Biden to support liberals’ efforts to eliminate the filibuster.
But Jones and other backers of Democrats’ voting bills may be in for another round of disappointment. When Democrats accepted the short-term, debt-limit deal offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to punt the deadline until December, it also postponed any discussion about changes to the filibuster — which advocates see as blocking any real chance of sending legislation to Biden’s desk.