Neguse: ‘Public Opinion Has Shifted Dramatically’ in Favor of Eliminating Filibuster

Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that public opinion has shifted dramatically in favor of eliminating the filibuster so the Senate can pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Neguse said, “Yesterday was a historic day and an exciting day. We took a giant step forward in terms of combatting voter suppression tactics that are pervasive across the United States, as you articulated. It is confounding, as you said, the fact that no Republican voted for it. As you know, and I’m sure the panelists are aware, prior reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act were a bipartisan exercise. The last time it was done so on a bipartisan basis, President George W. Bush signed the legislation into law back in 2005. So to see the Republican caucus today, yesterday, being unwilling even a single one of them to stand up and vote to protect and secure the right to vote is obviously deeply disappointing, but it’s not all that surprising given that we are now witnessing the most coordinated state-level effort in generations to restrict the right to vote.”

Guest anchor Jason Johnson said, “So, Congressman, what’s the next step? This is going to go to the senate, and we can talk about negotiations and backroom deals, but basically, this all boils down to the filibuster. What are the chances for The John Lewis Voting Rights Act to get anywhere? Where are your colleagues in the Senate right now on the filibuster, either reform or elimination?”

Neguse said, “As you said, all eyes are on the United States Senate, and ultimately the question is whether we will allow a relic like the filibuster to curtail and prevent citizens from being able to exercise their fundamental right to vote, a right that is sacrosanct and so fundamental under our Constitution. I think public opinion has shifted dramatically over the course of the last several months in part due to the shenanigans in Arizona and the various efforts of bipartisan legislatures across our country to restrict the right to vote. Ultimately we shouldn’t assume that the Senate is impervious to public opinion and that it won’t be responsive to that. I think it’s time for the Senate to eliminate the filibuster or have a constitutional carve-out along the lines of what whip Clyburn has suggested, so the fundamental right to vote is protected, and we can send HR-4 to the president’s desk for his signature.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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