On Tuesday, what everyone, including Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, said would happen happened: the Senate GOP stalled the For the People Act. How did they do this? They used the filibuster, whose removal is opposed by Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. And though what happened has been seen as a foregone conclusion, after it did happen, people on social media were pissed.
The bill was intended to expand voting rights, which have been under attack for months by Republicans nationwide. Among its aims include banning partisan gerrymandering, forcing super PACs to disclose big donors, and reform the public campaign financing system. Democrats took control of all three houses of government, and this could have been their first ambitious piece of legislation.
But for now it’s stalled, perhaps indefinitely. As per The New York Times, there remains no clear path forward for the bill. A watered-down version introduced by Manchin, dubbed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — named after the late Democratic representative and civil rights icon — appears to be gaining no traction with Republicans.
The only course of action that could work remains ending the filibuster, which critics argue has long been abused by Republicans to kill Democratic legislation. But again, Sinema and Manchin stand in the way, despite being slammed for their attempts at defending their actions.
So with little hope for recourse, people took to Twitter to vent. Some focused on Manchin, who claimed he could find 10 Republicans to support the bill. He was off by 10.
So Manchin couldn’t find 10 Republicans? But…bipartisanship? https://t.co/jOzYBhti6k
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 22, 2021
Joe Manchin– you said there would be 10 good people on the other side. There weren’t. There wasn’t evevnn *one* good person on the other side. They failed your test, your justification for keeping the filibuster intact. That shouldn’t come without consequence.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 22, 2021
.@Sen_JoeManchin: Republicans clearly have no interest in voting for your compromise bill. So end the filibuster to save our democracy. It isn’t even in the Constitution. It’s arguably undemocratic. And it can be eliminated with 51 votes.
End it now to protect voting rights.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 22, 2021
Some pointed out that maybe something’s wrong with the country when the party that controls the House and Senate and the White House can’t stop a minority party from creating legislation to put them back in power.
Call me radical, but I do not believe a minority of Senators should be able to block voting rights for millions of people.
But I guess I’m just from that far-left school of thought that legislation should pass when a majority of legislators vote for it https://t.co/NTtk28BwRs
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 23, 2021
Congrats to our democracy on creating a system where the minority can vote against letting the majority vote
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) June 22, 2021
Others the GOP, who keep blocking key pieces of legislation.
The same GOP Senators who blocked an investigation into January 6th are using the same loophole to block legislation that would protect our freedom to vote.
This is a turning point for our nation. Our leaders must exercise their majority, eliminate the filibuster, and #PassFTPA.
— Nick Knudsen (@NickKnudsenUS) June 22, 2021
Others came for Sinema.
This insipid, disingenuous clown thinks people are stupid enough to credit her for supporting a bill she is independently killing by preserving the filibuster. https://t.co/fzV4vyDc24
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) June 22, 2021
Others theorized, in an epic thread, that McConnell will probably wind up killing the filibuster when the GOP takes over, possibly in 2022.
And once Republicans are back in power, which they will be, McConnell will blow up the legislative filibuster whenever it becomes an inconvenience for him, and he’ll justify it by saying “Look, the Dems wanted to do this in 2021” as a justification. And the press will go, “Yep.”
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 22, 2021
Many said this was the final proof that the filibuster must be destroyed.
One of the best ways to make sure young people don’t vote is to make it practically impossible for the elected officials (we helped elected) to do their job and pass legislation that the majority of Americans support
We need to abolish the filibuster
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) June 23, 2021
Increasingly, it looks like Democrats can either abandon the filibuster, preserve the right to vote & hence, democracy, or they can insist upon the filibuster only to see the GOP abandon so they can solidify their grip on the country & minority rule.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 22, 2021
The filibuster isn’t something that exists independent of 50 Senators deciding that its a good idea to exist.
Every day it continues is a CHOICE
Manchin and Sinema have made the CHOICE to allow Republicans to block legislation that would prevent voter suppression
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 22, 2021
They’re also high fiving each other about Juneteenth.
End the filibuster. https://t.co/5eI8jnHh2f
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) June 22, 2021
Filibuster protects democracy pic.twitter.com/udfSwWRo7X
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) June 22, 2021
And while they’re at it, maybe end a few other weapons Republicans love to have in their arsenal.
America with no filibuster, tough anti-gerrymandering rules, statehood for any US territory that wants it, and the annexation of Greenland. pic.twitter.com/zkPL1oFA7u
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 22, 2021