While delivering a eulogy at the funeral for John Lewis, former president Barack Obama called for eliminating the Senate filibuster if needed to expand voting rights.
“You want to honor John? Let’s honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for,” Obama said” and if all this takes is ending the filibuster, another Jim Crow relic, in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that’s what we should do.”
Now Bernie Sanders is echoing Obama’s suggestion.
TheHill reports Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed his support for axing the Senate filibuster on Thursday, after former President Obama called the legislative tactic a “Jim Crow relic” during his eulogy for civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in Atlanta.
“President Obama is absolutely right,” Sanders said in a statement. “It is an outrage that modern-day poll taxes, gerrymandering, I.D. requirements, and other forms of voter suppression still exist today.”
He added: “We must pass a comprehensive agenda to guarantee the rights and dignity of everyone in this country. And that means, among other things, reauthorizing and expanding the Voting Rights Act, for which Congressman John Lewis put his life on the line.”
The Senate filibuster — which requires 60 votes for legislation to proceed — has long been a tactic used by senators of both parties to run out the clock on measures that they oppose.
It is widely believed even if Democrats win back the Senate and keep control of the House in November that the filibuster will need to be done away with in order for key Democratic legislation to pass, such as Lewis’s voting rights bill.
The filibuster has been lowered to a simple majority for certain points of business such as confirmation of Supreme Court nominees and other federal appointments but still largely remains intact.