UPDATE 1/21/22, 2:20PM CST: I could not find this tweet when I was writing this story yesterday, but found it interesting Illinois state Representative Tim Butler (R, Springfield) did a quote tweet of Congressman Peter Meijer (R, MI-03) on the “gut & replace” frequent use in the Illinois General Assembly, in reference to Meijer’s tweet about how H.R. 5746 went from a NASA bill to the combined legislation of the Democrats’ “voting rights” combined bill that was successfully filibustered Wednesday night, and the Democrats could not change the Senate rules to pass H.R. 5746 with a simple majority.
“Today’s ruling ‘party’ is fond of language invention. Most bills they’ve proposed have nothing to do with what they seek. Build Back Better… isn’t. Their latest bills, the ‘Freedom to Vote Act’ and the ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,’ have nothing to do with the freedom to vote or advancing any right to vote.“Jim Crow 2.0: ‘The Party’s’ New Slur” by Jim Thompson, Red State, January 19, 2022, 6PM CST
“No one who can vote is prevented from voting. No One. The Party invokes John Lewis to manipulate thought and advance an agenda, not citizens’ rights. Both bills are about one thing — retaining power. The Party is horrified that people aren’t buying into their ‘doublespeak’ and fear that unless they can federalize voting, they will be out of power in January 2023.
“The way the Party has chosen to retain power is to manipulate facts and manipulate language. In short — to lie.
“Biden is again yelling at critics and taking softball questions from his willing sycophants in the media, and when he’s not doing that, he’s blathering nonsense. Calling everyone who disagrees with The Party ‘confederates,’ racists, and Bull Connor hasn’t worked, so it’s now settled on slandering a thing, rather than people. All voting laws such as requiring an ID to vote are a redo of Jim Crow racism. Biden even called voting laws worse than Jim Crow.”
Jim Thompson, Red State blog’s contributor of many talents with 30 years as a trial attorney, nearly 30 years as a freelance cartoonist, nails it in art as well as words.
Thompson’s article was published at 6PM CST yesterday, meaning prior to the votes in the U.S. Senate.
McHenry County Blog will bring all up to speed with the latest version of the legislation cited above, plus the actual votes, and how they went down. after the article was published yesterday.
Last week, the D.C. Democrats after President Biden’s blustering speech in Atlanta to make “voting rights” a reality, as the Democrats see it, planned to force a showdown on two pieces of legislation:
- H.R. 4 / S. 4: John Lewis Voting Rights Act
- H.R. 1, and its variants since last year, originally titled “For the People Act”, passed the House on party line vote last year
The Democrats packaged components of both bills into a single bill under the designation of H.R. 5746, which was legislation that passed both the House and Senate late last year originally titled the “NASA Enhanced Use Leasing Extension Act of 2021”.
The House Democrats did a classic “gut & replace” to the original legislation with an amendment renaming the bill “Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act”, which combined H.R. 4/S. 4 with the latest version of H.R. 1, which has seen some changes thanks to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV).
On Thursday of last week, the House voted on the gut-and-replace version of the new H.R. 5746, and like previous House vote on “voting rights”, it passed on a straight party-line vote.
Around the same time with the Democrats’ set-up on H.R. 5746 in the Senate last Thursday, President Biden planned to visit Capitol Hill to rally the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. Senate to change Senate rules to alter the Legislative Filibuster and allow for a straight up-and-down vote, so the Democrats could pass H.R. 5746 with a 51-50 vote, without having to have 60 votes for cloture.
Within an hour before President Biden’s arrival on Capitol Hill last Thursday, U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ) gave her “Disease of Division” speech on the floor of the Senate, and for nearly 20 minutes, Sinema laid out the truth of the core problem of the “descending spiral of division”.
As reported elsewhere, President Biden seemed dumbfounded by Senator Sinema’s stance last week, and after nearly a week of not-so-veiled threats against Sinema to primary challenge her in 2024.
Both Sinema and Manchin stood firm.
So last night, Senate Democrats first set-up a cloture vote on H.R. 5746, which failed on a 50-50 party line vote, far short of 60 votes. Officially, the vote was recorded as a 49-51 vote, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) voted with the majority in order to bring it back for a future vote.
Then, over the next hour after the cloture vote failed the debate on changing the Senate Rules ensued.
When the roll call was taken to change the rules, it failed by a 52-48 vote, with both Manchin and Sinema voting against the rules change.
For now, the Democrats’ vision of voting rights was defeated through the rules change defeat by a bipartisan vote.
From the desk of John Lopez: I have read through a good chunk of the latest version of the legislative text under H.R. 5746 and learned the following:
- Unsolicited vote-by-mail ballots being sent to all registered voters is replaced, and leaves the way for states to enact applications for vote-by-mail ballots, while not superseding existing state laws where unsolicited vote-by-mail ballots are sent to all voters
- California-style Ballot Harvesting no longer mandated for the nation, but only on Native American tribal lands
While the changes above are welcome, it is my honest opinion the administration and operation of elections are set by the states.
The full text of the latest version of H.R. 5746 can be viewed here.