As we wrap up this week, it feels like all of the stories are coming out of the Senate right now. Here’s a quick look at the Big 3.
McConnell’s Big News?
Yesterday, a story was published on the Intercept about how Mitch McConnell is pushing for a bill in the Kentucky state legislature that would take the responsibility of naming a replacement Senator out of the governor’s hands and into the state legislature’s hands. Currently, the governor of Kentucky is Democrat Andy Beshear, and the state legislature is dominated by Republicans. What makes this story interesting is that Beshear is up for re-election in 2022, and in Kentucky, there’s always a good chance that they’ll elect a Republican.
So, this has fueled speculation that McConnell might be looking to step down and retire from the Senate fairly soon. WHICH IS HUGE. I can’t even begin to imagine what the Senate looks like without Mitch McConnell. He wields such enormous power, due to his longevity in the chamber, his incredible knowledge of arcane Senate procedure, and the metric ton of campaign money that he controls, that I can only imagine that his departure would cause a massive inter-party war when he leaves. Which, if it happens right before the 2022 midterms, would be really great for the Democrats. I don’t have more on this story (read the Intercept article for all the details), but rest assured, I’ll be following this nugget closely.
The COVID Bill
The COVID bill is working its way through the Senate, thanks in no part to the Republicans who are doing everything they can to slow down the process of getting much needed money and vaccines to the American people. In the Senate, everything has to get voted on, and when they took a vote to determine if they could start debating the bill, the vote came down 50-50. So VP Kamala Harris broke the tie.
Before debate could begin, though, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin (who is up for re-election in 2022) demanded that the Senate clerks read the entire 600+ page bill. This took roughly 10 hours and went into the night. None of the Senators, other than Johnson stayed in the Senate for the reading of the bill. Once that’s done, the Senate will debate the bill for 20 hours and then take another vote.
If you haven’t already called your Senator to demand they pass this much-needed bill (here’s what people can expect to receive), then please do that today!
HR1 – For The People Act
Late Wednesday night, the House passed HR1, or the For The People Act. This is the sweeping legislation to reform our elections, decrease the influence of dark money in our campaigns, and tackle corruption. I’ve written about it several times (do a quick search for HR1) if you want to get caught up on the details of the bill.
Now that it is headed to the Senate, you’ll see it referred to as S1. Once the Senate takes care of the COVID bill, their next priority will be getting S1 passed and onto President Biden’s desk, while they (of course) continue to confirm Biden’s Cabinet.
This is another thing to mention in your call to your Senators — HR1/S1 is a game changer for elections in this country and will do a lot of good to tamp down voter suppression. Please be sure to let your Senator know how much you want this bill to be passed!
Thank you for taking action!