A recent poll from Morning Consult reaffirmed what we've known for quite a while now: over 80 percent of Americans support requiring all gun purchasers to go through a background check. The bipartisan nature of that support is demonstrated by the fact that 77 percent of Republicans support universal background checks.
Nevertheless, when the House voted last week on legislation to do just that, Republicans almost universally voted against the measure. Due to the Democratic majority, the bill passed 227-203. But Republican obstruction will probably be strong enough in the Senate that it will fail to overcome a filibuster.
Similarly, more than 70 percent of Americans support the Dream Act, which would grant citizenship to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. But when the House voted on such a measure this week, the vote broke down primarily on party lines, with the vast majority of Republicans in opposition. Here's what Nicholas Fandos wrote about the bill's prospects in the Senate.
While some Republicans there have pledged support for Dreamers in the past, their party is increasingly uniting behind a hard-line strategy to deny the president the votes he needs to make any new immigration law and use the worsening situation at the border as a political cudgel.Of course, we saw the same scenario play out with the coronavirus relief bill that was recently passed. While it garnered major support from voters, Republicans opposed it unanimously.
“There is no pathway for anything right now,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a key player in past bipartisan immigration pushes, said this week.
Voting rights is bigger than the filibuster, and whether we get rid of the filibuster or not, we have to pass voting rights. We have to give the people their own voice in their own democracy. So we will see what path that takes.
It's interesting...folks ask me, "should you get rid of the filibuster or not?" It seems to me that the onus really is on those in the chamber who have not yet decided to support voting rights, because they could vote it up. They could vote for it—because what is at stake is the viability and the health and the credibility of our democracy.
Warnock is exactly right. It is beyond time for people in the media to start asking Republicans why they are opposed to voting rights. What is at stake is the viability of our democracy. That is primarily true when it comes to voter suppression. But it is also true when voters no longer have a voice in congress because Republicans pay no price for ignoring the will of the people on issue after issue.
Whether we're talking about gun safety reform, immigration, economic stimulus, or voting rights...the people are much more united than their representatives in Washington. Until Republicans are held accountable for ignoring their wishes, that will continue.