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Tipsheet

Bizarre: Vulnerable Senate Dem. Wants End to Filibuster As She Rants About 'Charade' Election Day

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Democrats are it again when it comes to trying to destroy the filibuster. Now that it looks like the reconciliation spending bill known as the Build Back Better Act will not receive its vote by Christmas or even potentially the year's end, Democrats have set their sights on voting legislation. 

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Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) is facing a tough re-election battle in the upcoming midterms. After previously defending the filibuster in 2017, she's now flip flopped. During a Thursday night floor speech, Hassan claimed "we must change the Senate rules to protect the right to vote, because if we don't, we face a very different kind of Election Day than the one we have now."

It got more outrageous from there.

"If the partisans who are attacking our democracy have their way," Hassan continued, "our Tuesday Election Day in early November will be different. We'll wake up, cast our vote, drop our kids off at school, go to work. We'll tune back in at the end of the day to see the election results, only to learn that the vote tally is being ignored, that our votes don't matter much. We'll learn that our legislatures are going to throw out the results and pick their own winner."

In addition to listing out particularly bizarre and unsubstantiated warnings, Hassan went as far as to say that "we'll see an Election Day that is a charade, just like in countries where democracy doesn't exist."

Hassan closed by dramatically stating "our democracy is too important to allow a minority of this body to let it slip away. We must pass legislation to protect American democracy. Our country depends on it."

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The legislation in question is HR. 4/S. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, which similarly to HR. 1/S.1 the For the People Act, will result in the federal takeover of elections. 

If anything, that will make our Election Day look like "a charade."

T.W. Arrighi, the spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) said it indicates Hassan is in "desperation mode" in a statememt. "We may never see such a brazen, self-serving flip-flop ever again.  Maggie Hassan has gone back on her word and surrendered the fate of New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation primary to her buddy Chuck Schumer. What’s most concerning is it appears she surrendered her state’s federal election control to win liberal praise from the radical base she hopes will fund her campaign. It’s clear that Maggie Hassan is entering desperation mode," he said. 

It turns out that Hassan was previewing her appearance on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," and then tweeted out a request for donations.

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In fact, Hassan even confirmed she is now in fact all for changing the filibuster. 

Maddow pointed out that Hassan was "calling for essentially a carve-out from the filibuster so voting rights can pass with a simple majority vote," and suggested "this is a shift for you, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is," Hassan had responded, as she went on to claim that "the foundational nature of voting rights is at stake."

When it comes to a so-called "carve-out," Democrats have gotten emboldened by the fact that it has in fact happened just recently. Thanks to a deal between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democrats, enough Republicans voted to suspend the filibuster so that an increase on the debt ceiling could pass with a simple majority and along party lines. Earlier this week, in fact, President Joe Biden signed legislation raising the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion.

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