Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday night on CNN that “failure is not an option” for the Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill, also known as the ‘For the People Act.’
“Well first, as I said, this is despicable,” Schumer told CNN host Don Lemon. “For Mitch McConnell to say there, on the screen, that we are trying to change the rules? No. It’s Republican legislatures across the country that could take away the rights, according to the Washington Post, of up to 10 million people, mainly poor, mainly people of color, mainly Democrats, maybe urban, because they lost the election.”
Schumer called the Republicans’ move to block the bill “obnoxious, despicable, and anti-democratic” and said it reminded him of being in an autocracy like Turkey or Hungary. (RELATED: ‘It’s About Violence’: Don Lemon Slams Chip Roy For ‘Racist,’ ‘Bigoted’ Rhetoric)
“Failure is not an option. This will not stand,” Schumer added. “Our caucus feels very strongly about this, very strongly.”
Lemon pointed out that Schumer has said it’s like “Jim crow rearing his ugly head once again.” He asked if there was a way to get the reform bill passed “without changing the filibuster.”
“There will be a national campaign about this launched by many groups and our hope is always that Republicans will see the light,” Schumer responded. “But if they don’t, our caucus will gather and we will figure out the best way to change these rules and everything will be on the table. As I’ve said before, failure is not an option. We cannot allow this to stand and everything is on the table.”
Critics of the election reform bill have argued against provisions like automatic voter registration for 16-year-olds and rollback of voter ID laws, which they argue will lead to more voter fraud. Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee said that the bill was “written in hell by the devil himself” and would lead to the Democrats taking power long-term.