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Biden Slams Republicans For Stifling Voting Rights Bill Debate
Joe Biden

Biden Slams Republicans For Stifling Voting Rights Bill Debate

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden chastised Senate Republicans for blocking debate on the For the People Act, a broad piece of legislation aimed at improving and protecting voting rights.

It was the “suppression of a bill to end voter suppression,” Biden said in a statement following the vote, in which all 50 Republicans voted against debating the bill. Though the Democrats control the chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris as the party’s tie-breaker, current Senate rules allow Republicans to block any bill that does not receive at least 60 votes.

“Unfortunately, a Democratic stand to protect our democracy was met with a solid Republican wall of opposition,” Biden said, adding that “Senate Republicans opposed even a debate — let alone considering — legislation to protect the right to vote and our democracy.”

Democrats, who have prioritized the bill written by late civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis (D), have “stood against the ongoing assault on voter suppression that represents a Jim Crow era in the twenty-first century,” according to Biden.

The For the People Act, as it stands now, would establish national rules regarding voter registration and early, absentee, and in-person voting, which have become the subject of more than 250 voting restriction bills introduced by Republican governors and state legislators.

Other provisions of the bill deal with partisan gerrymandering, campaign financing, foreign lobbying regulations, and cybersecurity threats.

Democrats will not abandon the issue, according to Biden.

“I’ll have more to say about this next week, but let me be clear: this fight is far from over — far from over. I’ve been involved in this work my entire career, and we are going to ramp up our efforts to overcome once more — for the people, for our very democracy.”

The bill can only be passed if Senate Democrats unanimously vote in favor of changing the chamber's filibuster rules, which allow Republicans to block legislation without a majority.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) continue to oppose eliminating or weakening the filibuster, making a majority vote to end the rules unlikely.

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