(AP) — President Joe Biden
singled out two fellow Democrats
on Tuesday in explaining why he hasn't enacted some of his most ambitious agenda items, pointing out that slim majorities in the House
and an evenly divided Senate
have stymied legislative negotiations on key issues such as voting rights
Biden responded to critics who questioned why he hasn't been able to get a broad voting rights bill passed during an event commemorating the 100th anniversary
of the Tulsa race massacre
“Well, because Biden only has an effective four-vote majority in the House and a tie in the Senate — with two senators who voted more in favor of my Republican friends
,” he lamented.
It appeared to be a veiled reference to Democratic
Sens. Joe Manchin
of West Virginia
and Kyrsten Sinema
, both of whom have irritated Democrats with their defense of the filibuster
— the rule that requires most legislation to garner 60 votes
to pass, rendering many of Democrats' top priorities, such as voting rights and gun control
legislation, dead on arrival in the 50-50 Senate.
Despite the stalemate in Congress
, Biden promised more action to combat what he called a “constant assault
on the right to vote,” comments made in response to the latest effort by a state legislature to pass a law restricting voting access, this time in Texas
. He said he would “fight like hell, with every tool at my disposal” to ensure the passage of the For the People Act
when the Senate returns.
Biden also urged voting rights organizations to "redouble" their efforts to register and educate voters
, declaring June a "month of action" on Capitol