Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, while discussing voting rights legislation and potential filibuster changes in a television interview Monday, drew a blank on the name of a member of his caucus.
The New York Democrat’s glitch came when he was telling MSNBC’s Joy Reid on “The ReidOut” that three senators are lobbying Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona on filibuster reform, reports Mediaite.
“We have a group of three senators who [are] constantly talking to them,” Schumer said. “Joe — Angus King, um, uh, Jon Tester, and um, uh, the senator, uh, from Virginia as well, saying to them we were not for changing the rules but we’ve changed our mind. Too much is at stake.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., appears to have been the name Schumer was having trouble remembering. According to The Washington Post, Kaine is the other Democrat who has been working with Manchin and Sinema to formulate a plan that would allow the voting rights bill to pass without abolishing the filibuster.
Kaine suggested that Manchin, the key holdout over the stalled Build Back Better bill, is willing to back rules changes on a partisan basis if they include some ideas favored by Republicans, reports The Post.
At this point, 60 votes are needed to start a bill debate in the Senate, meaning that 10 Republicans will need to join ranks with all Democrats to break a filibuster and allow the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act to pass.
The Democrats can also change the Senate rules if they have a simple majority of all 50 of them plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, but Manchin and Sinema both strongly oppose eliminating the filibuster.
But Manchin, in particular, wants to “figure out a way” to get voting rights legislation passed, said Schumer.
“We have got to keep pressing them and pressing them and pressing them until they do,” he said. “There is too much at risk here.”