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Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told “Axios on HBO" that the “integrity of our democracy” is at stake without federal voting rights legislation, and the Senate must seriously consider filibuster reform if it can’t get 60 votes to pass it next year.

What they’re saying: “It's an open question as to whether we can get to 60 votes in the Senate on voting. And if we can't, then the Senate is going to have to make some decisions as it relates to filibuster reform,”Jeffries said.

  • “The integrity of our democracy hangs in the balance,” he added.

Why it matters: Democrats control the House, Senate and White House but their ability to deliver federal voting rights legislation, which President Biden could actually sign into law next year, remains uncertain.

  • This year alone, 19 states have enacted restrictive voting laws across the country — largely in response to the 2020 presidential election.
  • Democratic activists continue to sound the alarm on voting rights — Joe Madison, a prominent Black radio host, recently announced his intention to go on a hunger strike until Congress passes legislation to protect the right to vote.

The big picture: Jeffries chairs the House Democratic Caucus, the No. 5 position in the House. It puts him in charge of informing and spreading the party’s message.

  • But the congressman didn’t have much in the way of reassuring messaging to Democratic base voters wondering why his party hasn’t passed voting rights legislation.
  • “What do you say to Democratic voters in the 2022 midterms and Democrats weren't able to deliver on voting rights when you have control of the House, Senate, and the White House?” Axios asked Jeffries.
  • “Is that a hypothetical question? … Well, there's no message to communicate to Democratic voters now,” he said.
  • Jeffries also told Axios he considers “the undermining of the fundamental right to vote” as the greatest threat to democracy right now.

Go deeper: The House passed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in August, but it's languished in the Senate.

Go deeper

Commerce Secretary presses for chips funding

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will call on House lawmakers to pass a bill boosting funding for semiconductor manufacturing during a speech in Detroit on Monday.

Why it matters: A global chip shortage is slowing production of everything from appliances to vehicles. The Senate in June passed a bill that includes $52 billion for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, but the House has yet to act.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.