Carper comes out in support of nixing filibuster on voting rights | TheHill – The Hill

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Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBiden sets off high-stakes scramble over spending framework Manchin signals he’ll support .75T price tag for spending plan Biden administration pushing to include IRS proposal in spending bill despite criticism MORE (D-Del.) announced on Thursday that he supports nixing the filibuster on voting rights legislation, marking the latest Senate Democrat to back changing the upper chamber’s rules. 
“I do not come to this decision lightly, but it has become clear to me that if the filibuster is standing in the way of protecting our democracy then the filibuster isn’t working for our democracy,” Carper said in a statement.
“No barrier – not even the filibuster – should stand in the way of our sacred obligation to protect our democracy,” he added.
Carper’s statement comes a day after Republicans blocked Democrats from taking up legislation named after the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHarris congratulates Youngkin on governor’s win in Virginia Schumer hints at filibuster reform after GOP blocks voting rights bill Senate GOP blocks John Lewis voting rights bill MORE (D-Ga.) to strengthen the Voting Rights Act. Republicans have also blocked more sweeping election reform bills this year.
Currently, most legislation requires 60 votes, meaning the support of at least 10 GOP senators, to be brought up for debate on the Senate floor. 
“I cannot look the other way if total obstruction continues as it did yesterday with this bipartisan legislation,” Carper said.
Outside groups have pushed Democrats for months to get rid of the 60-vote filibuster or reform it for certain bills. And Senate Democrats are increasingly supportive of nixing the filibuster for voting rights legislation by creating a “carve-out” from the Senate rules, while keeping the 60-vote hurdle in place for other bills. 
Carper is a close ally of President BidenJoe BidenDemocrats hit panic button after Virginia collapse Manchin says he won’t vote to overrule Senate parliamentarian Carville blames ‘stupid wokeness’ for Democratic losses MORE, who suggested during a CNN town hall last month that he was open to changing the filibuster for voting rights.
But Democrats don’t currently have the votes within the caucus to nix the filibuster for voting rights legislation or get rid of the 60-vote hurdle altogether. 
Sens. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaAdvocates express tempered optimism for Dems’ drug pricing deal On The Money — Presented by Citi — Pelosi plays hardball with Manchin Pelosi presses ahead on vote without Manchin buy-in MORE (D-Ariz.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats hit panic button after Virginia collapse Manchin says he won’t vote to overrule Senate parliamentarian On The Money — Presented by Citi — Pelosi plays hardball with Manchin MORE (D-W.Va.) are both opposed to getting rid of the filibuster, and Manchin has specifically said he doesn’t support the idea of a carve-out from the Senate rule for specific issues. 
To change the Senate’s legislative filibuster, Democrats would need total unity from all 50 of their members.
Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer hints at filibuster reform after GOP blocks voting rights bill The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Political earthquake rocks Virginia; New Jersey too close to call First openly lesbian judge confirmed to federal circuit court MORE (D-N.Y.) hinted at filibuster reform, without directly mentioning the Senate rule, during a floor speech on Wednesday. 
“Just because Republicans will not join us doesn’t mean Democrats will stop fighting. This is too important. We will continue to fight for voting rights and find an alternative path forward, even if it means going it alone,” Schumer said. 
Schumer also met on Wednesday with Sens. Angus KingAngus KingSchumer hints at filibuster reform after GOP blocks voting rights bill Manchin signals he’ll support .75T price tag for spending plan Biden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report MORE (I-Maine), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats hit panic button after Virginia collapse Schumer hints at filibuster reform after GOP blocks voting rights bill Manchin says ‘unbelievable’ Virginia results validate concerns over spending package MORE (D-Va.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSchumer hints at filibuster reform after GOP blocks voting rights bill The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Manchin drama intensifies; all eyes on Virginia Activists pushing Interior for emergency protections for gray wolves MORE (D-Mont.) and “strategized” with them about having “family discussions” within the caucus about “specific ways to ‘restore the Senate’ ” to find a path forward on voting rights legislation, a senior Democratic aide told The Hill.
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