Democrats’ Rule-Breaking Power Grab Efforts Predate Today’s Big Lie By Years

Long Before Democrats’ Current Fake Outrage Over State Election Laws, Democrats First Unveiled Their Partisan Proposal To Take Over American Elections In 2018 And In 2019 Started Talking About Nuking The Filibuster

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Leading Democrats say they want to break the Senate because of a sinister anti-voting plot that is sweeping America. This is totally fake. It does not exist…. Confronted by the facts, the Democratic Leader says they’re irrelevant. He says his entire nuclear push is occasioned by what a few states did in 2021. But this is nonsense. The Senator from New York has been publicly laying groundwork to nuke the Senate rules since 2019. More than a year before the 2020 election, the Democratic Leader was openly flirting with nuking the Senate rules if he got power, so he’d be able to ram through bigger changes. None of this was occasioned by what state legislatures did in 2021. This is a years-long quest for power in search of a pretext.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/10/2022)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Democrats are trying to use their fake hysteria to justify breaking Senate rules so they can seize control of elections in all 50 states. Historically, the Senate has taken up elections legislation on a careful, bipartisan basis. We’ve made sure not to trample on the rights of voters and the proper roles of local officials…. Our colleagues aren’t doing anything like that. They’re trying to ram through sweeping, partisan legislation which they first drafted and introduced in its first iteration in 2019.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/10/2022)
  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Practically every single week, Senate Democrats make another attempt at grabbing new power over American elections. Remember, a giant partisan power grab over voting procedures in every county and state was Democrats’ ceremonial first priority of this whole Congress. They revealed their mission from the very start. That first proposal would have sent federal funds to political campaigns, overridden commonsense state rules like voter I.D., and even changed the Federal Elections Commission itself from a neutral referee into a partisan body. It was so bad that even the New York Times called it ‘a flawed bill’ that was ‘destined to fail.’ That’s exactly what happened in the Senate. But the Democrats tipped their hand right from the start. They gave away the whole game. So every time that Washington Democrats make a few changes around the margins and come back for more bites at the same apple, we know exactly what they are trying to do…. There is nothing to suggest a sprawling federal takeover is necessary. Nationalizing our elections is just a multi-decade Democratic Party goal in constant search of a justification. Their rationales may change constantly, but their end goal never does.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/03/2021)


Going Back To 2019 Chuck Schumer Repeatedly Suggested That He’d Be Open To Eliminating The Filibuster, As Long As Democrats Had A Majority

JULY 2019: “Schumer on if he’d go nuclear on the filibuster for legislation (going to simple majority instead of 60 votes): ‘Nothing’s off the table,’ he says.” (WSJ’s Josh Jamerson, @joshjame, Twitter, 7/16/2019)

JULY 2020: “‘Once we get the majority we’ll discuss it in our caucus. Nothing’s off the table,’ Schumer says when asked if he’s supportive of eliminating the filibuster.” (Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic, @igorbobic, Twitter, 7/21/2020)

REPORTER: “Leader Schumer, former Vice President Biden recently suggested that he would be open to supporting eliminating the filibuster if Republicans obstruct his agenda. Where--where do you stand on that? Are you more receptive to taking a look at doing a job?”
SCHUMER: “Look, job number one is for us to get the majority. We don't take anything for granted, but it's looking better and better. And once we get the majority, we'll discuss it in our caucus. Nothing's off the table.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 7/21/2020)

AUGUST 2020: “On the day that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivers his acceptance speech, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer made clear that eliminating the chamber’s legislative filibuster will be on the table if Democrats sweep into the majority with Biden in November. ‘We have a moral imperative to the people of America to get a whole lot done if we get the majority, which, God willing, we will, and keep it in the House, and Biden becomes president, and nothing is off the table,’ the New York Democrat said Thursday.” (“Schumer: Senate Democrats Would Ditch Filibuster If Needed To Push Biden’s Agenda Through,” Roll Call, 8/20/2020)

SEPTEMBER 2020: MSNBC’s JOY REID: “Would that include adding, if the Senate becomes a Democratic majority, adding D.C. and Puerto Rico as states and ending the filibuster?”
SCHUMER: “Believe me, on D.C. and Puerto Rico -- particularly if Puerto Rico votes for it, D.C. already has voted for it and wants it – I would love to make them states…. And as for the filibuster, I'm not busting my chops to become majority leader to do very little or nothing. We are going to get a whole lot done, and as I've said, everything, everything is on the table.” (MSNBC 9/30/2020)


A Number Of Prominent Senate Democrats Were Also Agitating To ‘Do Away With The Filibuster’ In 2019

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “I am prepared to get rid of the filibuster to pass a Green New Deal.” (CNN, 9/4/2019)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “We’re done with having two sets of rules. When Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell continues to put small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing our country, then we should get rid of the filibuster.” (Sen. Warren, @ewarren, Twitter, 4/5/2019)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “So can I answer both of these—the filibuster and the packing of the Supreme Court—because they’re the most things that come up. So the filibuster—I just want everybody to know—both of these suggestions, I’m not taking off the table.” (Sen. Booker, Remarks, Kenne, NH, 8/08/2019)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): “I think we should do away with the filibuster… We are too dysfunctional. I would not have said that two or three years ago.” (“Sherrod Brown Says There’s A ‘Small Chance’ GOP Senators Vote To Remove Donald Trump,” Cleveland.com, 11/8/2019)


Before Election Day In 2020, Even More Senate Democrats Were Discussing Eliminating The Legislative Filibuster

SENATE MINORITY WHIP DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I can tell you that’s where I’m leaning… I will tell you, I have been frustrated for a hell of a long time because of this filibuster. … All the cards are on the table. [Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer made that clear yesterday, and a lot of us have been thinking about this.” (“Durbin 'Leaning' To Vote To Abolish The Filibuster Should Dems Retake Control Of Senate,” Yahoo News, 8/21/2020)

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “And if that means changing or abolishing the current Senate requirement for a supermajority to close debate and pass policy legislation—often referred to as a ‘filibuster’—then that is what we must do. … In short, the rules of the Senate are rigged for the powerful over the people. It is our responsibility to change this!” (Sen. Jeff Merkley, Op-Ed, Data For Progress, 8/19/2020)

  • MERKLEY: “As President Obama put it in his powerful eulogy for Congressman Lewis: ‘If all this’—referring to restoring democracy for the people—'takes eliminating the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that’s what we should do.’ Amen.” (Sen. Jeff Merkley, Op-Ed, Data For Progress, 8/19/2020)
  • “[Merkley] said ideas include lowering the 60-vote threshold to advance legislation and forcing senators to return to traditional ‘talking filibusters.’ That would require senators to be physically present and debating on the floor to keep a bill from coming up for a vote. Under today’s rules, the 41 filibustering senators don’t even have to be in the chamber to block a bill from advancing. Mr. Merkley said other proposals would reduce the amount of time allowed for debate; classify more types of legislation as immune to filibusters (only budget-related bills are now immune); and restore a bipartisan amendment process to guarantee members of the minority party the opportunity to help shape legislation on the Senate floor. He suggested that Democrats might consider forbidding filibusters on ‘fundamental constitutional’ issues, enabling simple majority passage for bills related to voting rights and statehood for D.C., for example.” (“Senate Democrats Look to Wound Filibuster but Not Kill It,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/1/2020)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “If expanding the Voting Rights Act requires us to eliminate the filibuster, then that is what we must do.” (Sen. Sanders, @SenSanders, Twitter, 7/30/2020)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): “I’m very open to it. Look, I was governor of a state with two legislatures and everything is operated by simple majority. It works fine.” (“Filibuster Reform Gains Steam With Democrats,” The Hill, 6/29/2020)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “And if the Republicans continue to be obstinate, and obdurate then we’ll just have to change the filibuster rules in order to get that agenda passed. Because America can't wait. Justice must be delivered. … And we need to ensure that we put an agenda on the books that the Republicans, if they block it, cannot stop because we just change the rules.” (Massachusetts U.S. Senate Democratic Debate, 8/11/2020)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “I will not stand idly by for four years and watch the Biden administration's initiatives blocked at every turn… I am gonna try really hard to find a path forward that doesn't require removing what's left of the structural guardrails, but if there's a Biden administration, it will be inheriting a mess, at home and abroad. It requires urgent and effective action.” (“The Biden Whisperer In The Senate,” Politico, 6/23/2020)

  • COONS: “I won’t be a part of letting the Republicans in the Senate stop President Biden should he be elected from making any progress at all.” (Axios, 10/16/2020)

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): “If people continue for their own political reasons to make it impossible for the majority to exercise its will, filibuster reform may have to be on the table.” (“Senate Democrats Look to Wound Filibuster but Not Kill It,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/1/2020)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): “[I] would be willing to advocate for getting rid of the legislative filibuster if legislation is blocked. None of this will matter if Democrats don’t retake the majority Senate and [I am] focused on that.” (“Are 2020 Democratic Candidates Ready To Scrap The Filibuster To Fight Climate Change?,” Vox, 2/19/2020)

BROWN: “We’ve got to eliminate the filibuster… I don’t know if it has unanimity, but I’ve not talked to anybody that says ‘I don’t want to do it.’” (“America’s Plastic Hour Is Upon Us,” The Atlantic, 10/2020)

WARREN: “I’ve supported filibuster reform for a long time… If the Republicans think that they are going to be able to hold up the actions that need to be taken in this country by using the filibuster then they’re wrong. We’re going to have to fight them…. If we have a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House and the Republicans are trying to use the filibuster in order to block what the American people want to see us do, then it will be time to change the filibuster.” (“Filibuster Reform Gains Steam With Democrats,” The Hill, 6/29/2020)

Democrats Running For The Senate That Year Also Suggested They Were Open To Eliminating The Filibuster

“Jon Ossoff, who is the Democrats’ choice in a regularly scheduled Georgia Senate election against GOP incumbent David Perdue, has said he’s open to eliminating the filibuster.” (“Democratic Senate Candidates Are Lining Up Against The Filibuster,” Huffington Post, 6/28/2020)

“Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, national Democrats’ pick in [Colorado], said during a forum [in May 2020] that he would ‘listen to any rule change,’ quickly adding: ‘I certainly think the way the filibuster is being used now is a joke.’” (“Democratic Senate Candidates Are Lining Up Against The Filibuster,” Huffington Post, 6/28/2020)


Similarly, Democrats Began Assembling The ‘Sweeping Liberal Wish List’ That Constitutes Their Partisan Election Takeover As Far Back As 2017, Unveiled It In 2018, And First Introduced It In 2019, Long Before Any Of The State Election Laws Democrats Claim They’re Responding To

 “In 2017 House Democrats wrote the For the People Act, commonly known as H.R. 1, to implement a myriad of political reforms … Think of it as the political reform version of the original Build Back Better bill: Instead of containing every Democratic spending priority, it contained every Dem political reform idea…. In private, many Democrats admit it was a hastily drafted messaging bill for the 2018 midterms.” (“The Election Reform Idea Gaining Currency On The Right,” Politico Playbook, 1/04/2022)

“As currently written, the bill constitutes a sweeping liberal wish list …” (“Democrats Splinter Over Strategy for Pushing Through Voting Rights Bill,” The New York Times, 3/30/2021)

  • “[T]he sweep — critics say overreach — of the Democrats’ … For the People Act, has undermined Democratic claims that the fate of the republic relies on its passage.” (The New York Times, 6/14/2021)

H.R.1 Was Announced In 2018 And Introduced On The Very First Day Of The 116th Congress In 2019

“Rep. John Sarbanes and other House Democrats announced plans [November 30th, 2018] for their first bill of the new, Democratic-controlled House of Representatives — a political reform measure … Sarbanes has chaired the Democracy Reform Task Force — a study and advocacy group — since January 2017. All the members are Democrats. The legislation is to include national automatic voter registration … It also would require all political organizations to disclose their donors…. The legislation would tighten rules on super PACs and overhaul the Federal Election Commission. The legislation is to have the title ‘H.R. 1’ to designate its significance.” (“Sarbanes, fellow Democrats say first bill of new U.S. House will seek to ‘drain the swamp’ with reforms,” The Baltimore Sun, 11/30/2018)

H.R. 1 was introduced on January 3rd, 2019 and House Democrats first passed it on March 8th. (H.R.1, 116th Congress)

“Democrats’ proposal to reshape the political system was born after they took over the House in 2019. They quickly put together a sweeping bill with new federal standards and rules that touch nearly every aspect of the campaigning and election administration process …” (“Senate Dems Don’t Know How to Salvage Their Voting Bill,” The Daily Beast, 6/14/2021)



Related Issues: Senate Rules, Senate Democrats, Campaigns & Elections