US President Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats on Thursday in a last-ditch petition to overhaul the country’s election laws, even as a fellow Democrat explicitly said he wants to establish national voting rules. For the same Republicans would not support changing the legislative rules of the Senate to prevent opposition.
Biden met with most of the Senate Democratic caucus over lunch and voiced his support for two measures that would increase federal oversight over congressional and presidential elections and establish uniform voting rules across the country. The bills would wipe out more restrictive rules adopted by Republican-controlled legislatures in at least 19 states.
As he left lunch, however, Biden expressed little optimism about his chances of winning approval for the law, telling reporters, “I hope we can get it done. God is the honest answer.” I don’t know if we can accomplish this.”
With all 50 Republicans in the 100-member Senate opposing Biden’s two pieces of support, Democrats can only approve him by changing the Senate’s filibuster rule that allows supporters of any controversial legislation to gain a 60-vote supremacy. forces. Democrats want to pass the law by a simple 51-50 majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris putting a tiebreaker.
But shortly before Biden arrived on Capitol Hill to meet with Democratic senators, Senator Kirsten Cinema of Arizona said in a speech to the Senate that she supports voting rights, but also voting rights, to the chamber’s filibuster. Will not vote to change.
Another centrist Democratic lawmaker, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has also repeatedly voiced his opposition to changing the filibuster rule.
Cinema said, “These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not completely cure the disease. And as long as I continue to support these bills, I will not support individual actions.” that worsens the underlying disease of division that is plaguing our country” by replacing the Senate’s use of filibusters that allow a minority party to oppose the law.
His view on the filibuster, while not new, was a blow to Biden’s efforts to advance a large part of his legislative agenda.
The president, who himself was a senator for 36 years before serving as vice president and winning the presidency, voiced reservations during his run for the White House about dropping a Senate filibuster.
But on Tuesday in Atlanta, he said, “I’m making it clear today. To protect our democracy, I support changing Senate rules the way they need to be changed, so that minority senators have voting rights.” to prevent action being taken.
Democrats say the law is needed to curb voting rules adopted in Republican-led states that make voting more difficult, such as reducing mail-in voting and preceded by traditional election days. Limiting the number of days allowed for early voting. November.
Former President Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the more liberal voting rules planned in 2020 resulted in fraud, leading him to seek re-election, although for a year, polling officials have concluded that whatever irregularities occurred, they did not lead to re-election. The result would not have changed.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell strongly opposed Democrats’ efforts to approve the vote change and criticized Biden’s speech in Atlanta. McConnell has said that the change would amount to a federal redundancy for Democrats to control elections, “so that one political party can take our nation’s elections from top to bottom.”
On Thursday, as the legislative maneuver came to a head, McConnell said, “No one in this country is buying the fake hysteria that democracy will die unless the Democrats get full control.”
“There is a way forward for my Democratic colleagues to answer the country they have disappointed so badly, but it is not trying to break the Senate and rewrite election laws, it is actually starting to tackle those issues. What American families need to deal with,” he said.
Another Republican lawmaker, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, said after the cinema speaking, “She’s just expressing a dismay that [her Democratic colleagues] Can’t seem to listen to him. She’s cleared. She’s been public about this from the start, and it seems like they continue to think that somehow they’re going to replace her, and the more they do that, the more I feel like she’s lost. .