DALLAS — On yet another day when President Joe Biden’s nearly $3 trillion economic agenda remained stalled in the U.S. House, congressman Marc Veasey was upset by a different stalled piece of legislation, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which Republicans have blocked from advancing in the Senate.
The legislation would restore and update certain provisions of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, including once again requiring some states to clear any changes to voting laws with the federal government.
But the legislation can’t advance in the Senate without Republican support, or dealing with the filibuster. Count Veasey among those who support filibuster reform.
“It’s necessary, it’s a must, unless you want to spend the rest of your career in the Senate working on the minority side of the aisle,” the Democrat said on Inside Texas Politics.
But Democrats don’t yet have the votes to eliminate or reform the filibuster, so it remains firmly in place.
The infighting also continues over the stalled Build Back Better plan.
Democrats are still waiting to hear if Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, will support the social spending aspect of the package. He, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, has blocked the legislation in the Senate while demanding changes.
Veasey says Democrats still respect Manchin and realize the politics of the situation.
“People understand… that if Joe Manchin is not the Democratic Senator from West Virginia, then there’s no Democratic Senator from West Virginia. West Virginia has changed. It’s a challenge now for Democrats,” said Veasey.
Veasey also thinks Democrats still have time to turn their election fortunes around, even after a disappointing night on Nov. 2, when Democrats witnessed a Republican become governor in Virginia and a much closer than expected re-election of the Democratic Governor in New Jersey.
Veasey says there are lessons that can and should be learned from the setbacks.
“You have to able to appeal to everybody. I think that’s hugely important,” he said. “I also think we need to remind the American public of the failures of the Trump Administration.”
Congressman Marc Veasey: Congressman Marc Veasey | Representing the 33rd District of Texas (house.gov)