Saturday, June 10, 2023

House passes voting law ahead of Biden’s Hill visit

The Democratic-controlled House approved a measure that combines two voting bills: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It will next be sent to the Senate where a high-profile battle awaits between Republican opposition and resistance from some Democrats to change Senate rules.

A senior Democratic aide told CNN that Biden is expected to discuss efforts to pass the voting bills and possible changes to Senate rules at the Senate Democratic Caucus luncheon on Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later confirmed that Biden would attend the Democratic Senate lunch, adding that he would go directly to members to make the case for the new voting law.

“This is a defining moment that will divide everything before and after when the most fundamental American right, from which all others come, the right to vote and your vote is counted,” Psaki said on Wednesday. “He’s heading to Hill tomorrow to talk to the caucus and make the strong case that you’ve heard him go straight to members publicly.”

Biden’s planned trip to Capitol Hill comes after the president called in a loud speech Tuesday to change his filibuster rules to pass voting legislation in the Senate. The problem facing Democrats is that they don’t have the votes to pass voting legislation under current Senate rules because of Republican opposition, and they don’t even have the votes to change the rules. Democratic Sens. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema, two influential liberals, have long expressed opposition to eliminating the 60-vote limit required to pass most legislation.

Despite this, Democrats are gearing up to implement a plan where the House will first pass voting legislation and then send it to the Senate. Democrats would need 60 votes to crack a filibuster going the final route, setting the stage for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, to try to force a vote to change the rules. .

Democrats are under heavy pressure from grassroots activists and their voters to pass legislation to protect access to voting, but have consistently hit a wall in the Senate, where at least 10 Republicans must vote to pass legislation. All 50 members of the caucus will need to be involved. To drive away a filibuster. Most Senate Republicans have dismissed Democrats’ attempts to pass the voting bills as reckless partisan redundancies.

Biden’s decision to make a high-profile push on voting rights has emerged as a key pillar of his domestic agenda, raising questions about what Democrats will be able to achieve now, while they still remain in the White House and The narrow majority control the majority in both chambers. of Congress.

Late last year, Manchin said he could not support the broader social safety net expansion known as the Build Back Better Act. It is unclear whether Democrats will be able to salvage any legislation after that setback.

This story and title have been updated with additional developments on Thursday.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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