Dems Prepare A Month Of Designed-To-Fail Senate Kabuki

Taking His Cues From Radical Leftists, Sen. Schumer Has Announced He’ll Force Votes On Far-Left Partisan Bills He Knows Will Fail In Order To Falsely Claim That The Senate Is Broken


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Already, on multiple occasions this year, we’ve demonstrated that even a narrowly divided chamber is capable of taking productive, bipartisan steps on serious issues…. So the question at the outset of this work period is how Democrats will use their razor-thin majority over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, the Democratic Leader already signaled his answer a week ago by laying out a June agenda that is transparently designed to fail. As I understand it, Senate Democrats intend to focus this month on the demands of their radical base … As written, these are not proposals aimed at earning bipartisan support. They’re not designed to clear the Senate’s necessarily high bar for ending debate. Bizarrely, it appears they’re being floated in order to illustrate that the bar is too high. After a spring in which the Senate has repeatedly passed mainstream legislation by wide margins, Democrats have decided that now is the time to argue that the legislative process is broken…. The American people rightly expect a 50-50 Senate to spend its time finding common ground. But our Democratic colleagues seem to believe that the most important expectations are those of the far left fringe. They’ve put forward an agenda that is designed to fail. And fail it will.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/07/2021)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Let’s not forget: Democrats’ poster child for why the Senate should change its rules is a bill that would forcibly change the rules for elections in every state in America! Their marquee bill, S. 1, is such a brazen political power-grab that the question isn’t even whether it could earn bipartisan support. The question is how wide the bipartisan opposition will be. This is the bill the Democratic Leader has placed at the vanguard of his campaign to destroy the filibuster. Even though multiple members of his own majority are now on the record objecting to it. Make no mistake: Failing to sell reckless, wholesale changes to our democracy isn’t proof that the guardrails should be removed. It’s a reminder that they’re there for a reason.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/07/2021)


Following Harry Reid’s Infamous Nuclear Option Playbook, Sen. Chuck ‘Schumer Seems To Be Setting Up His Party For Failure’: ‘Schumer Said He Intended To Bring The Filibuster Showdown To A Head … By Forcing Votes On A Series Of Measures That Republicans Oppose’

Mr. Schumer said he intended to bring the filibuster showdown to a head beginning next week, by forcing votes on a series of measures that Republicans oppose, including one that was blocked by a Republican filibuster in 2014 that seeks to ensure that women and men receive the same pay for equal work. Mr. Schumer hinted that he could also bring forward legislation on gay rights and gun safety. Most immediately, he promised a vote before the end of June on a sweeping voting rights bill … The idea is to show Democrats refusing to change the filibuster rules that Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, are going to stand in the way of legislation that has widespread support, and that the only way to win their adoption is by overturning the rules.(“Democrats, Converted to Filibuster Foes, Are Set to Force the Issue,” The New York Times, 6/04/2021)

  • It is replicating a strategy that Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader, employed in 2013 to persuade fellow Democrats to blow up the filibuster for judicial and executive branch nominees. He purposefully lined up a series of votes on highly regarded nominees to the influential United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. When Republicans repeatedly blocked them, Mr. Reid gathered enough Democratic support to change the rules by a majority vote. Mr. Reid was working with a larger majority than Mr. Schumer — 55 compared with 50 Democrats today — and among those he failed to convince was Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a prominent Democratic opponent of weakening the filibuster and one of three Democrats who balked at the changes in 2013.” (“Democrats, Converted to Filibuster Foes, Are Set to Force the Issue,” The New York Times, 6/04/2021)

“Democrats are six months into their control of Congress and the White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is queuing up floor votes that will all almost certainly fail—and that’s sort of the point. … Schumer seems to be setting up his party for failure for a couple of reasons. Many Democrats believe—or, at least, hope—he is trying to force a gut check for some individual members, like centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Demonstrating to Manchin that Democrats can’t succeed while the filibuster persists could produce some momentum toward ending the 60-vote threshold.… Call it The Month of Taking the L …” (“Why Democrats Are Cheering for a Month of Senate Failure,” The Daily Beast, 6/03/2021)

‘Some Progressive Lawmakers Are Anxiously Welcoming The Succession Of Votes On Dead-On-Arrival Bills’

“Some progressive lawmakers are anxiously welcoming the succession of votes on dead-on-arrival bills as a wake-up call to filibuster holdouts.” (“Why Democrats Are Cheering for a Month of Senate Failure,” The Daily Beast, 6/03/2021)


‘We Need To Dramatize It’: Democrats Are Being Spurred On By Their Far-Left Base

“More than 100 progressive groups called on Senate Democrats this week to abolish the filibuster … ‘We have moved past hypotheticals and entered a perilous new moment for our democracy,’ the progressive groups, led by Fix Our Senate, said in Thursday's letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. ‘In the face of Republicans’ inability and unwillingness to defend our democracy, it is clearer than ever that the filibuster needs to be eliminated. We cannot allow the filibuster to stand in the way of progress or imperil the health of our democracy.’ Signatories included March For Our Lives, Our Revolution, the Sierra Club and the Sunrise Movement.” (“Progressive Groups Press Senate Democrats To Abolish Filibuster,” Axios, 6/05/2021)

“There’s an extremely bullish belief among progressives that by calling up S.1 this month, Senate Democrats are putting into motion a process that could result in the passage of the legislation—and the death of the filibuster—by Labor Day.” (“Why Democrats Are Cheering for a Month of Senate Failure,” The Daily Beast, 6/03/2021)

  • “Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, credited Schumer with being willing to ‘smoke out any opponents’ to the democracy legislation by forcing a vote. ‘He's made clear that the question will be called ... so that pretty much puts every Democratic senator on notice that there is no hiding from the bill or hiding from the filibuster question,’ he said. ‘This is a rare instance where without knowing for sure he has all the votes Schumer is showing leadership and calling the question.’” (“Schumer Faces Cracks In Democratic Unity,” The Hill, 6/07/2021)


REMINDER: Senate Democrats Don’t Even Have 50 Votes For Many Of These Partisan Designed-To-Fail Bills

“Even if some Democrats can see a filibuster endgame developing, in the short term, there are difficult steps that will require the party to grapple fully with internal differences, not just wail on Republicans. After all, some of the most important bills for Democrats lack 50 votes in the Senate. … S.1 is not the only bill up for consideration this month that will test the caucus’ ability to come together. The sweeping LGBTQ rights bill, the Equality Act, doesn’t yet have Manchin’s support either. Schumer said in his Friday letter that ‘gun safety’ bills may get a vote in June, too. If they’re the ones the Democratic-led House passed in March, they also don’t have Manchin’s support.” (“Why Democrats Are Cheering for a Month of Senate Failure,” The Daily Beast, 6/03/2021)

In Particular, Multiple Democrat Senators Oppose The Sweeping Partisan Election Takeover Schumer Has Made The Centerpiece Of This Effort

“Senate Democrats will have to decide in upcoming weeks whether or not they will make changes to the For the People Act… but the reality is that the legislation does not currently have the backing of every member of the caucus and more work still has to be done.” (“Senate Democrats Face Tough Test Of Unity With Voting Rights Bill,” CNN, 6/03/2021)

  • “Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to bring the bill to the floor in the next work period, but divisions within his own caucus could make that a risky political move. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the only Democrat who is not a co-sponsor of the original legislation, but other Democrats have expressed concerns with the current draft of the bill in private meetings. One of those, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, raised his issues at a private Democratic meeting last month, arguing that the bill still needed to be changed in certain places in order to take what had been a messaging bill from the House a practical piece of legislation.” (“Senate Democrats Face Tough Test Of Unity With Voting Rights Bill,” CNN, 6/03/2021)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “Of course, some in my party have argued that now is the time to discard such bipartisan voting reforms and embrace election reforms and policies solely supported by one party. Respectfully, I do not agree. I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.” (Sen. Manchin, Op-Ed, “Joe Manchin: Why I'm voting against the For the People Act,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6/06/2021)

CNN’s JAKE TAPPER: “I want to turn to another issue here at home, voting rights. Senator Joe Manchin wrote an op-ed this morning and saying that he will not support the voting rights legislation called the For the People Act. … As you know, it's not just Manchin. There are other Senate Democrats, there are Democratic state election officials who have concerns about the legislation as written. Do you support the bill as written?”
SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): No, I think there are things that can be modified. And Chuck Schumer knows that and Amy Klobuchar. I have said that all along. I -- it's a 800- or 900- or 1,000-page bill. There are clearly some things I think need to be negotiated. And I think Joe Manchin realizes that.” (CNN, 6/06/2021)

Senate Democrats Are Also Not Unified Behind Democrat House-Passed Gun Control Bills

“Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia, said [in March] that he does not support the two gun safety bills the House passed earlier this month... ‘No, I don't support what the House passed,’ Manchin told CNN as he left the Senate floor. ‘Not at all.’ Manchin's opposition underscores a major divide among Democrats over how to tackle gun control -- a key priority for their voters -- even as the party now controls Congress and the White House…” (“Manchin Opposes House Gun Safety Bills, Underscoring Democratic Divide Over Gun Control,” CNN, 3/23/2021)

“Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Wednesday said he’s also concerned about the House bill’s requirement on background checks for transfers or sales between family members…. Tester objected to the lack of an exemption for family members in the House-passed background checks bill. ‘I haven’t really looked at it. Traditionally I support background checks. I don’t think that bill has [an exemption for] passing it down to your kids. That’s a problem,’ he said.” (“Democrats Divided On Gun Control Strategy,” The Hill, 3/25/2021)


FLASHBACK: Sen. Schumer And Other Democrats Used To Decry ‘A Series Of Show Stunt Votes, Designed To Fail’ Because ‘We All Know How To Pass Bills In The Senate, With Bipartisan Buy-In And Bipartisan Support’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): So what we have here are a series of show stunt votes, designed to fail, because Republicans want them to fail. That’s not going to get the job done for the American people. … If my Republican colleagues were listening to the American people, they would not be playing these partisan games around small-bore, stunt-driven COVID bills. ... Instead, the Republican Leader is wasting the American people’s time on a vote he knows will fail. And he doesn’t even seem to mind.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 10/20/2020)

SCHUMER: “All week, the Republican majority has scheduled stunt votes on supposed COVID relief bills that are all, in reality, designed to fail.… And the games continue today. Once again, the Republican majority will bring up a bill designed to fail: their partisan, emaciated COVID-relief bill, so-called COVID-relief bill. The bill we’re voting on today has already failed in the Senate. It didn’t get a Democratic vote. And we already know it lacks the votes…. So what’s the logic here? Well, there is a perverse logic, if the Republican Leader wants to make sure that the bill fails, and that’s sure what it looks like. (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 10/21/2020)

SCHUMER: “And I’ll tell you one thing: the American people are sick and tired of these political stunts. They are sick and tired of politicians who would rather have it appear that they are working than do actual work. This shouldn’t be so hard. We all know how to pass bills in the Senate, with bipartisan buy-in and bipartisan support.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 10/21/2020)

SCHUMER: “There was no serious negotiation with any Democrat about what went into the proposal. That is because the proposal was never intended to pass…. Anyone who looks at the legislation can tell it was designed to fail.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.326, 1/22/2019)

SCHUMER: “We Democrats are certain that the McConnell plan will not, and indeed cannot, result in any legislation passing. It is clear that the Republican bill, as is, will not get sixty votes. There is overwhelming opposition to the bill in our caucus. And because the bill needs such large-scale and fundamental change, there is no conceivable way that a series of amendments strong enough to cure the defects in the bill could garner sixty votes either. So no bill—no bill—will pass as a result of this ploy by Senator McConnell. The Republican majority has given the Senate a bad bill and proposed no credible way to sufficiently improve it. Simply put: Leader McConnell has created a cul-de-sac from which no legislation can emerge. Leader McConnell’s plan appears designed to get the ‘burden’ of dealing with policing reform off of Republican shoulders by setting up a process which is guaranteed not to result in successful legislation. Again, Leader McConnell is leading the Senate into a cul-de-sac, a process designed to fail. But there’s a way out of this cul-de-sac. Yes, there is a way out. It’s the same process that has led to success in the Senate time and time again. It’s a simple word: bipartisanship.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 6/23/2020)

SCHUMER: “But this bill is not going to happen because it is so emaciated, so filled with poison pills, so partisanly designed, it was designed to fail. Now, the Republican Leader claims the vote this week that the vote this week will expose Democratic obstruction and delay.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 9/10/2020)

  • SCHUMER: “After the Senate Republicans spent four months dithering, delaying, last week Leader McConnell pushed a partisan, emaciated COVID bill. It was so paltry and laden with poison pills, it was clearly designed to fail. And fail it did.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 9/15/2020)

SCHUMER: “Unfortunately, but maybe not surprisingly, my friends on the other side of the aisle very well bowed down to their friends on the hard right and riddled this bill on Zika with poison pill provisions. If there was ever a bill designed to fail, it is what the Republicans have put together on Zika today. This bill is not only going to fail, it was designed to fail from the very beginning…. [W]e should be doing something in a bipartisan way--Democrats and Republicans together--working to solve an emergency. But, no, we get a bill riddled with poison pills done by one party, designed to fail … I hope my Republican colleagues will stop this partisan gambit and come around to work with us on the issue in a serious bipartisan way…. If saner heads are going to prevail, it has to be in this body. I hope Leader McConnell would rethink the strategy of going along with the cynical House bill so we can negotiate something that will do good for America.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.4593-4594, 6/28/2016)

Senate Dems: ‘To Come To The Floor With An Insincere Bill That Is Designed To Fail Is Demeaning To The Whole Body’

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “I would say this: You might disagree with me about climate change, and you might not want to do anything about climate change, but, by God, I think if there is one thing we owe each other in this body, it is sincerity, and to come to the floor with an insincere bill that is designed to fail is demeaning to the whole body.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.2206, 4/02/2019)

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): “This is an unfortunate moment for the U.S. Senate. We came together on a bipartisan basis just a very short time ago to pass the CARES Act. It passed here 96 to nothing…. Yet, today, we see from the majority leader a complete political stunt here on the floor of the U.S. Senate--something that does not have bipartisan support, something that is go it alone, take it or leave it … [T]oday, we have this situation where the majority leader knew full well there was not agreement and consensus on moving forward with this proposal. That is why we are here today. This was, in fact, designed to fail, designed as a political stunt.” (Sen. Van Hollen, Congressional Record, S.2169, 4/09/2020)

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT): “So I would suggest to the leader, if he is serious about tackling racial injustice and policing reform, that there is a blueprint to follow. This is not it. I urge the majority leader to reverse course. If he is unwilling to bring meaningful legislation to the floor to address these issues today, well then, allow the Judiciary Committee to put in the hard work that is necessary to build bipartisan consensus. I am sure it could be done within a couple of weeks of actual hearings and votes in our committee. Instead, the leader is insisting on a process that is designed to fail. In doing so, the Senate fails.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.3181, 6/24/2020)



Related Issues: Second Amendment, Campaigns & Elections, Senate Democrats