The American Democrats’ effort to pass national voting rights reforms lacks support from Republicans.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate are set to block debate on sweeping electoral reform legislation proposed by Democrats and backed by President Joe Biden, paving the way for a showdown between the two main political parties over U.S. electoral law.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday he would bring forward a For the People Act to the Senate for debate, a move that requires the approval of 60 senators. Republicans, however, who control 50 of the 100 Senate seats, have aligned themselves against the legislation.
“They do not even want to debate it, do not even want to debate it because they are afraid,” Schumer railed in his remarks in the Senate.
“They want to deny the right to vote, to make it more difficult for so many Americans to vote. And they don’t want to talk about it, sweep it under the rug and hope Americans don’t hear about it, ”Schumer said.
The For the People Act would require all U.S. states to implement automatic voter registration, offer postal voting, and deploy new voting machines, among other reforms.
Signaling the importance Democrats place on timing and the proximity of the equally divided US Senate, the White House said Vice President Kamala Harris would chair the Senate for Tuesday night’s vote, giving Democrats a 51-50 majority .
While the bill was sold by Democrats as an electoral integrity bill, Republicans opposed the measure as an excessive federal move that would strengthen Democrats’ political power and further undermine the confidence of the government. public in the US elections.
Importantly, the bill cancel new laws on voting restrictions being passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures, sparking outrage among advocates of the right to vote.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “the Democrats'” clearly partisan plan “to tip every election in America permanently in their favor.”
“Today, the Senate will prevent this dangerous partisan takeover of our electoral system from moving forward,” said Sen. John Thune, a prominent Republican.
In a rare step in current politics, former President Barack Obama backed a bipartisan offer by Democrat centrist Joe Manchin to craft a compromise bill with Republicans. But McConnell and others had also rejected it.
Republican lawmakers in politically important U.S. states have adopted new voting restrictions following the 2020 elections which recorded a record turnout.
“State legislatures … across the country are passing a wave of anti-election laws based on the same repeatedly refuted lies that have led to an assault on our nation’s Capitol,” said the press secretary. White House, Jen Psaki, referring to the January 6 attack on the United States Congress. by Trump supporters.
“They put these laws in place because they didn’t like the result and they continued to perpetuate a lie about the election result,” Psaki said.
At least 14 states have enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to voting in a backlash to Biden’s election victory in 2020 with a record turnout.
Former President Donald Trump continues to claim without proof the 2020 election was stolen even as courts dismissed his fraud claims in key states for lack of evidence.
The “Republican refusal to allow even the For the People Act debate would be seen for what it is, a resounding endorsement of former President Trump’s conspiracy theories and his attacks on our elections, against the reality of it.” – even, ”said Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat.
The Senate’s failure to debate the bill will amplify discussions in Washington over revising Senate filibuster rules to allow legislation to be raised with fewer than 60 votes.
The Senate deadlock will focus in the public debate on new voting rights legislation more closely crafted by black lawmakers in the US House of Representatives.