: Senior House Democrat says using filibuster to stop minimum-wage hike is akin to using it to block civil rights

: Senior House Democrat says using filibuster to stop minimum-wage hike is akin to using it to block civil rights

2021-03-02 22:20:00

Third-placed House Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn attacked Republicans for opposing an increase in the minimum wage, saying their threatened use of the filibuster in the Senate to stop it reminded him when the filibuster was used against civil rights law.

“You can see that our Republican colleagues now adhere to the political philosophies that go back to the 1940s and 1950s. And they are using the filibuster to basically deny progress to low-income people, '' said Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, at a press conference ahead of a party policy rally on Tuesday.

“And if they are going to use the filibuster to deny an increase in the minimum wage, it would amount to using it to deny civil rights,” he said. "That's what we'll be talking about in the future."

Opinion: This is why the Senate filibuster rule can be safely abolished

The debate within the Democratic Party on whether or not to scrap the filibuster, which would require 60 votes to end the debate on a bill for a final vote on it, flared up again after Senate MP Elizabeth MacDonough spoke out against the bill. the Democrats to raise the minimum. wages gradually to $ 15 by 2025. The bill would have violated a Senate rule that regulates what may be in accelerated budget laws that can pass the Senate by just 51 votes, she said.

The pay rise was only put on the bill because it was believed that it could not itself amass the 10 Republican votes needed to move forward in a regular bill. But if Democrats cut the filibuster, as was done for executive appointments by Senator Mitch McConnell when Republicans controlled the Senate, it would allow for a minimum wage hike and other major party priorities by 51 votes. Republicans have warned they oppose getting rid of the filibuster, and Democrats would regret the move the next time they're in the minority.

Clyburn, the party whip, is the only black lawmaker in a long-running Democratic triumvirate that has led the House Democrats since 2007, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He was prominent in the 2000 Democratic presidential primaries. His endorsement of Joe Biden, who had hobbled through the first few states, was seen as crucial in helping turn the Biden campaign around.

Opponents of the filibuster have long pointed to its use against civil rights law as one of the reasons it is illegal and should be eliminated. Clyburn recalled his own history when he was arrested in South Carolina for participating in a protest to close the lunch counters.

"Nobody thought any of those little 20-year-olds who were arrested that day would be here today," he said.

"We're not just going to give in to these arcane methods of denying progress. This party isn't going to do it, and if [Republicans] want to be characterized that way, we'll oblige them," he said. , I will not be silent on this matter. People of color will not be silent on this matter. "



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