‘I can no longer be neutral’

| 28 Jun 2021 | 07:02

    I did not always feel strongly about eliminating the filibuster, the Senate rule which requires 60 votes to advance legislation for debate or a vote. In fact, I tended to support it, as a means of encouraging bipartisanship and a way for the minority party to communicate its policy positions.

    But two recent uses of the filibuster by the Republican minority have changed my mind.

    The first was the defeat of the bill to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capital.

    The second was the failure to advance the For the People Act (SR1), which would protect the rights of all people to vote, no matter where they live.

    Both of these bills were proposed in an effort to protect our democracy and have nothing to do with policy. The purpose of the January 6 commission was to provide an honest investigation into the causes and perpetrators of the attack, in order to ensure that the Constitutional mandate for the peaceful transition of power, would remain an intact part of our system of government.

    The For the People Act would provide federal guidelines for states to follow as a protection against state legislatures undermining the fundamental right to vote for all citizens.

    In other words, both of these bills were meant to preserve cornerstones of our democracy and both were filibustered by the Republican minority in the Senate.

    Therefore, I can no longer be neutral about its value. If you agree, please contact your Senators to express your support for abolishing the filibuster.

    Dorothy Kelly