U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.,slammed Republicans’ successful filibuster of the Democrats’ sweeping voting rights bill on Tuesday, saying she doesn’t think a minority of lawmakers should have that much power.
“Call me radical, but I do not believe a minority of Senators should be able to block voting rights for millions of people,” she wrote on Twitter. “But I guess I’m just from that far-left school of thought that legislation should pass when a majority of legislators vote for it.
The “For the People Act” needed 60 votes to clear a procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday, but Republicans filibustered and killed the legislation from advancing to debate.
Tuesday’s vote was 50-50 with no Republicans voting with Democrats to advance it.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s sentiments.
“Once again, the Senate Republican minority has launched a partisan blockade of a pressing issue,” he said on the chamber floor. He vowed that the vote was the “starting gun” and not the last time voting rights would be up for debate.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Republicans won’t stand for Democrats’ attempt to impose new voting standards on states that would “rig” elections in their favor. He called the substance of the nearly 900-page bill “rotten” to its core.
Democrats have been railing against the filibuster, which Republicans first used this year to vote down a bipartisan commission to study the U.S. Capitol riot. That vote was 54-35, meaning the minority of voters kept it from advancing to debate. Liberals want to abolish the filibuster in favor of a simple majority.
While some Democrats have called the filibuster a “Jim Crow relic,” moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have supported keeping the longstanding rule.
Recently though, Manchin said he would be open to lowering the filibuster threshold to 55 votes.
Sinema’s office in Phoenix saw at least 10 protesters arrested Tuesday over the senator’s filibuster position.
Democrats used the filibuster numerous times to stop Republican bills during former President Trump’s term.
Fellow ‘Squad’ member U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sent out a similar tweet Tuesday.
“Our democracy is more important than the Senate filibuster. Pass it on,” she wrote.
Earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez called for abolishing the filibuster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.