Saturday, 31 July, 2021


Democrats hope a voting rights failure sparks change on Senate filibuster

Former President Obama expresses support for Manchin's voting rights compromise Defeat for Joe Biden as Republicans block voting rights reform Bill
Noah Ferguson | 23 June, 2021, 17:57

The legislation would have shifted a great deal of power over election law from states to Washington.

"Abolish the filibuster so we can do the people's work", tweeted left-wing Democratic congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, of MA, before the vote. Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer's willingness to have the Senate consider Manchin's ideas led the West Virginia senator to join all 49 of his Democratic colleagues in voting to advance debate.

Arizona House Democrats have delayed passage of a state budget including a major tax cut primarily benefiting the wealthy. "We must end the filibuster, pass sweeping voting rights legislation, and protect our democracy", said Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, after the vote.

It wasn't immediately unclear what changes Democrats agreed to.

Stacey Abrams also announced her support for Manchin's plan, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using as another reason Republicans should oppose the bill.

"It is a fact, a fact that voting rights are under assault in America that we have not seen in many, many decades", Schumer said shortly before the vote started. "I remain committed to finding a bipartisan pathway forward because the future of our democracy is worth it". "We're not going to kill the filibuster, but we're going to reduce the number of votes you need to stop a debate from 60 to 55". The "For the People Act", which sought to make access to voting easier across the country, in response to Republican-backed measures to tighten voting laws in several states, met with a filibuster from Senate Republicans, necessitating at least 60 of 100 votes to progress.

The measure would also limit states' ability to remove people from voter rolls and increase federal funds for election security.

"The bill that's going to be debated, including Senator Manchin's changes, would address. numerous concerns and issues that I've just discussed", Obama said.

"We can't let state legislators get to pick and choose who votes and what votes get counted".

Mr Biden said the issue was the "fight of his presidency", but some Democrats accuse him of not fighting hard enough.

What the liberals hoped for, however, was that an intensive, ultimately unsuccessful lobbying effort would pave the way for reforming the Senate rules.

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