U.S. Senate Democrats fail in bid to pass voting rights bill

Read Time:3 Minute, 58 Second

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats suffered twin legislative defeats late on Wednesday in their push to toughen voting rights protections in the run-up to this November’s mid-term elections that will determine control of Congress in 2023.

In back-to-back votes late on Wednesday, Senate Republicans first blocked Democrats’ move to advance the voting rights legislation toward passage. It was the fifth time in less than a year that they did so.

They employed the decades old “filibuster” rule to stop the legislation, which requires the cooperation of at least 60 of the Senate’s 100 members to keep bills alive. The Senate currently is split 50-50.

In lightning speed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, then moved to revamp the filibuster rule by lowering the 60-vote threshold to 50. This time, it was not Republicans, but Schumer’s own Democrats – conservatives Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema – who put the final nail in the coffin by voting against the rules change.

With their year-long initiative stymied even after Republican-controlled states enacted bills that experts said were designed to suppress voting in federal elections, especially among Black, Hispanic and poor voters, the focus turned to a nascent bipartisan effort to pass far more limited election reforms.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney told reporters a group of senators planned to meet on Friday to discuss launching a bipartisan effort.

(Don’t Miss: Biden blasts Republicans, asks party to name what it stands for)

Some of the changes they are discussing already have been dismissed by leading Democrats and civil rights groups as being far short of what is needed to guarantee easier access to the ballot in American elections.

“Let us not sink into the abyss of voter suppression; give us the ballot,” Schumer implored before the rules change vote. But he failed to sway Manchin and Sinema.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warned against changes to the rule. “Factional fires are burning hot all across our country,” McConnell said, adding altering the filibuster rule “would shatter the Senate for short-term power.”

(Don’t Miss: Analysis – Biden must tighten focus on economy, pandemic before midterms, Democrats say)

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %