Big Vote Bill Faces Failure Because 2 Dems Won’t Stop Spinning – Orange County Register


WASHINGTON (AP) – Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital to protecting democracy appeared to have failed as the Senate began debate on Tuesday, a setback. severe attacks triggered by President Joe Biden’s own party when two pro-Senators refused to support rule changes to overcome Republican opposition.

Democratic senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have faced strong criticism from Black leaders and civil rights organizations for not taking on what the Democrats said. Critics called “Jim Crow Filibuster”.

The debate has echoes of an earlier era when the anti-Senate group was deployed in lengthy speeches by civil rights opponents. It comes as Democrats and other voter advocates nationwide warn that Republican-led states are passing legislation that makes it harder for black Americans and others to vote by uniting. polling places, ask for some sort of identification, and order other changes.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged the current bill is likely to fail this week. But he said the fight was not over because he heeded the call to force all senators to continue filing with their positions.

“We’re not going to give up,” Schumer said after the evening strategy meeting. “It’s a battle for the soul and future of America.”

This is the fifth time the Senate will attempt to pass this bill in Congress.

Freedom to vote: The John R. Lewis Act combines previous bills into a package that would make Election Day a national holiday, guaranteeing access to early voting and mail-in – which has become especially common during the COVID-19 pandemic — and allows the Justice Department to intervene in states with a history of voter interference, among other changes.

Both Manchin and Sinema have said they support the package, which has already passed the House, but are unwilling to change Senate rules to pass that chamber in the face of Republican opposition. With a split 50-50, the Democrats have a narrow majority in the Senate – Vice President Kamala Harris could pass – but they lack the 60 votes needed to pass the GOP vote.

Instead, Schumer announced the Senate would vote on a rule change that would be more specific to a “speaker” on this one bill – requiring senators to stand at the table and debate the point of view of the speaker. them, instead of the current practice of only allowing senators to privately signal their objections.

Initial voting could begin as soon as Wednesday. But even the proposal for a “talk movie” is expected to fail, as Manchin and Sinema have said they are not willing to change the rules of a vote along the lines of the Democrats alone. owner.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who led his party in removing the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees during Donald Trump’s presidency, has warned about change the rules again. He said Tuesday that it would “break the Senate.”

Democratic senators countered in remarks from the Senate floor that with Republicans opposed to the voting law they had no choice.

Manchin opened the door to a package of changes to the voting laws more relevant – including the Electoral College Act, which became the focus of the Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021 – that He said a bipartisan group of senators is working and could garner Republican support.

“There are so many things that we can agree on,” he said, although he is adamantly against voting to change the filtering rules.

Just as Manchin and Sinema blocked Biden’s vast “Build Back Better” domestic spending package, the two senators are now hoping for another key piece of Biden’s presidential agenda. They are angering many of their colleagues and facing a barrage of criticism during the Martin Luther King Jr Day events.

Martin Luther King III, son of the late civil rights leader, compared Sinema and Manchin to the white moderates his father had written about during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s – who proclaimed support for the goals of black suffrage but did not direct actions or protests that eventually led to the passage of the landmark legislation.

“History will not remember them kindly,” said the young King, referring to Sinema and Manchin.

Once reluctant to change Senate rules, Biden used the King’s break to press senators to do so. But the push from the White House, including Biden’s fiery speech last week in Atlanta that compared the opponent to isolationists, was seen as too late, coming as the president ended. first year in office with declining popularity.

“The president’s position is that the American people deserve to see where their leaders stand in defending their fundamental rights,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

The Senate has kicked off a multi-day debate, but the outcome is expected to be no different from previous failed votes on the law. Biden was unable to convince Sinema and Manchin, along with other Democrats, to change the rules to lower the threshold of 60 votes. In fact, Sinema endorsed the president last week, reiterating her opposition to the rule changes shortly before Biden headed to Capitol Hill to collect the senators’ votes.

Both senators argued that upholding the filibuster rules was important to promoting bipartisanship. They also warned of what would happen if Republicans regained majority control, as is likely to happen this election year.

McConnell has argued that the current broad bid before the Senate is an excessive federal approach to state-run elections, and he harshly criticized Biden’s speech last week. is “lack of security.”

In a letter last week, football coach Nick Saban of the University of Alabama, NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West and others urged him to support the law.

Political group Emily’s List said they would not endorse Sinema if she could not support a roadmap for the ballot measure.

Before Republicans lowered the voting threshold for Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, Democrats also lowered the threshold to a simple majority to confirm administrative positions and court nominations. lower judgment. Usually, to change party rules, both are done on partisan votes.

Voting bill is a top priority for Democrats in this Congress, and the House quickly passed HR 1 only to see it fall to the Senate.


Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report. Big Vote Bill Faces Failure Because 2 Dems Won’t Stop Spinning – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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