Democratic U.S. candidate Cheri Beasley tweeted Wednesday that if she had been in the Senate, she would have voted in favor of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Beasley doesn’t say how she would have voted on keeping the filibuster, despite questions from her supporters and Carolina Journal.
“As our nation confronts urgent challenges like recovering from the pandemic, expanding access to affordable health care, addressing climate change, and reforming a broken criminal justice system, time and again broadly popular, commonsense solutions that Americans support are blocked by the filibuster,” she wrote. “It’s time to eliminate it.”
President Biden and Senate Democrats faced another blow to their agenda Wednesday, Jan.19, when Senate Republicans, along with Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, voted 52-48 against killing the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
Sixty votes were needed to end the debate and vote on a bill combining provisions of the freedom-to-vote and voting-rights-advancement measures. The legislation would make Election Day a holiday, expand mail-in voting, give control of elections to the federal government by creating a national standard on elections, and permit online, automatic, and same-day voter registration.
A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll had 42% of respondents in favor of keeping the filibuster, 30% against, and 28% with no opinion. Thirty-four percent of those who identify as Democrats, 55% of self-identified Republicans, and 38% of self-identified independents support the filibuster.
Beasley tweeted, “Washington failed us. In this moment, the failure to stand up for our fundamental, constitutional right to vote turns back the tide while our democracy is under attack.”
Twitter followers replied with questions like “Will you vote to end the filibuster?” “Would you have also voted to change the rules and remove the filibuster? That is even more important.” Beasley’s campaign has not responded to those tweets, or requests from Carolina Journal for clarification on her position.
Read my statement on the U.S. Senate’s failure to protect our constitutional right to vote: pic.twitter.com/OKeZsFY3hs
— Cheri Beasley (@CheriBeasleyNC) January 20, 2022
Beasley, a former chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, is running for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Observers consider her the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
With the sweeping voting-access legislation in trouble, a bipartisan group of senators is seeking compromise, focusing on changing a 1887 law governing how Congress deals with presidential election disputes, specifically changes to the Electoral Count Act, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.