Biden urges the Senate to bypass filibuster to pass voting rights bills at a ‘turning point in this nation’

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  • President Joe Biden made his clearest call for the Senate to pass the voting rights bills to bypass the filibuster.
  • The Senate is set to introduce election legislation this week, but Republicans are set to block it.
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to debate a change in rules to bypass the filibuster, but at least two members of his party may not be on board with the plan.

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday issued his clearest call for the Senate to pass voting rights bills to bypass his filibuster rule, protesting Republican-led restrictive voting laws pushed across the country to “protect our democracy.” To protect” the move was described as necessary.

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“Today, I’m making it clear, to protect our democracy, I support changing Senate rules, the way they need to be changed to prevent senators from taking action on voting rights, Biden said during a highly publicized speech in Atlanta.

“When it comes to defending majority rule in America, the majority must rule,” he said. “This is the moment to decide to defend our elections and defend our democracy.”

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Biden’s speech comes as the Senate prepares to vote this week on two bills that would represent a comprehensive update of the nation’s federal voting rights laws.

The current law would expand early and absentee voting and make it easier for people to comply with state voter identification laws. It will make automatic voter registration the national standard and restore the right to vote after jailed people finish their sentences.

The bill would also make election day a national holiday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., said the Senate could vote on election legislation as soon as Wednesday.

“I intend to bring legislation once again to fight threats to democracy and protect people’s access to the ballot,” he said on Tuesday.

Schumer said that if the GOP vote blocks the law, “we must consider the necessary steps we can take so that the Senate can adapt and function.”

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It gained traction within the party, bypassing filibuster to pass legislation voting to raise the US debt limit with a simple majority last month after Democrats temporarily changed Senate rules. While the party could pass a bill on its own if it eliminated the filibuster, at least two Democrats — West Virginia’s Sens. Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema – have not endorsed a filibuster carving.

Every Senate Republican has opposed federal voting laws put forward by Democrats in the past year. GOP leaders argue that the Congress should not play a major role in state-run elections.

He has also downplayed the effects of Republican-led voting laws passed in states, including Georgia, where Biden chose to speak on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., argued Tuesday that Schumer is pushing Democrats to “break his word” and “broke the Senate” so that “one political party can control our nation’s elections from above.” can be taken down.”

Biden’s speech came amid intense pressure and, in some cases, criticism from fellow Democrats who believe the president has forced senators to pass his economic plans in Congress at the expense of other issues such as voting rights. Too much focus on interacting with.

Civil rights groups and voting rights advocates have called on Biden to spend as much energy trying to expand ballot access as it has to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package that was successful, and The Build Back Better Act, which has stalled.

“Our democracy stands at its last,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement after Biden’s speech.

“Unless President Biden applies the same level of urgency for voting rights as he did to the BBB and infrastructure, America may soon be unrecognizable,” he said.

“The time has come for this administration to mix its words with actions and for Congress to do its job. Voting rights shouldn’t just be a priority — it should be a priority,” Johnson said.

In his speech, Biden presented voting rights plans as part of a broader push to counter threats to democracy in America.

Biden said, “The next few days, when these bills go to vote, will be a turning point in this country. Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand.”

“I will not bow down,” said the president. “And so the question is, where will the institution of the United States Senate stand?”


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