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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Democrats that HR 1 includes "plenty you ought to be ashamed about."

Total and testy partisan standoff at Senate's first hearing on HR 1

Partisan passions erupted on Wednesday at the Senate's first-ever hearing on HR 1, which has rapidly transformed from the democracy reform movement's longshot wish list into one of the topflight fights in Congress.

The session magnified the virtually total disagreement between the bill's Democratic proponents and Republican opponents. Not a glimmer of potential compromise surfaced, even about the need to do anything to fix the system.

"We have an existential threat to democracy on our hands," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared. Minutes later, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell derided the measure as "a solution in search of a problem" because "states are not engaging in efforts to suppress voters, whatsoever."

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Government Ethics
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President Trump refused to take action against advisor Kellyanne Conway, despite her flagrant violations of the Hatch Act, writes Ahearn.

After four years of loophole abuse and flagrant disregard, the Hatch Act needs repair

Ahearn is policy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, a nonpartisan group that works to expose ethical violations and corruption by federal officials and agencies.

This is part of a series advocating for parts of legislation soon to be proposed in the House, dubbed the Protecting Our Democracy Act, designed to improve democracy's checks and balances by curbing presidential power.

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Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, flanked by fellow Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Jeff Merkley, introduced their version of the bill Wednesday.

Biden's call for filibuster change gives HR 1 advocates modest reason for hope

President Biden has thrown a lifeline toward HR 1, his party's comprehensive response to voter suppression and the American republic's other most serious ailments. But, while the legislation was launched in the Senate on Wednesday, Biden's new support for weakening the filibuster is not nearly enough to assure he'll get to sign the bill.

Opponents of legislation should be forced to verbalize their opposition and stage their dilatory protests in person on the Senate floor, Biden said Tuesday. That would push the filibuster closer to its original form and potentially weaken the Republican minority's resolve for blocking almost everything on the Democratic agenda.

But the president did not get behind ending the de facto requirement that 60 senators support legislation, or the idea of a carve-out so voting rights bills could pass with a simple majority. Without such changes, the GOP would seemingly still be able to devote its collective stamina to talking the fix-the-system package to death.

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Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are sure to be targeted by the new campaign. They are prominent Senate Democratic defenders of the filibuster, which could permit the GOP to kill the bill.

Progressives bet $30 million they can overcome the filibuster to pass HR 1

An expensive and aggressive lobbying step was taken Monday on the uphill climb for HR 1, the congressional Democrats' catchall package for assuring that voting gets easier and governance becomes more fair and ethical.

A pair of progressive organizations announced they will spend $30 million on television and digital advertising, direct lobbying, and creating grassroots pressure on the Senate. Part of the effort is to coordinate with other democracy reform groups to build momentum for what could become one of the most consequential victories over voter suppression since the 1960s.

The legislation's paramount obstacle is unified Republican opposition magnified by the filibuster, which is supposed to help democracy by giving the political minority influence but has also made partisan deadlock the norm. Advocates of HR 1 assert that, if there's ever a moment to confront the filibuster's perverse consequences, it's to pass a measure designed to resuscitate democracy itself.

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