Mar 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Warnock on filibuster: "We have to pass voting rights no matter what"

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said that current debate over the filibuster is "much too puny" to "talk about something as vital ... as voting rights," while on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Democrats' sweeping voting rights package is unlikely to receive Republican support in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to advance past a filibuster. Some Democrats hope they can use the fight to reform the filibuster.

The big picture: Warnock and Stacey Abrams have decried dozens of bills introduced by Georgia Republicans that generally restrict voter access in the state as a modern version of Jim Crow laws. At least 12 bills are still being considered, per AJC.

What he's saying: Warnock was did not give a clear answer when asked if he has discussed filibuster workarounds with his moderate colleagues, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

  • "We have to pass voting rights no matter what, and it's a contradiction to insist on minority rights in the Senate, while refusing to stand up for minority rights in the society," Warnock said.
  • "I'm going to do everything in my power to convince my colleagues to support voting rights."

Flashback: House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) earlier this month urged his Democratic colleagues to find a way to work around the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

Go deeper