Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday accused President Joe Biden of taking “the same tragic path” as former President Donald Trump after Biden called on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster in order to protect voting rights.
In a speech in defense of the Romney rule, Trump’s outspoken critic and the only member of his party to vote twice to convict the former president in impeachment trials criticized Biden, who said earlier Tuesday that some Republicans want to “turn the will of the electorate into a simple proposal.”
“So President Biden is following the same tragic path that President Trump took, which calls into question the reliability of the American election,” Romney said in a Senate conference room.
“This is a sad, sad day. I expected more from President Biden, who took office with the stated goal of uniting the country, ”he added.
Biden has addressed a wave of new laws passed last year by Republican-run state legislatures that will complicate voting by linking them to Trump’s own efforts to cancel the 2020 election – and possibly future elections – by “disenfranchising anyone who votes “. against them. “
“Their ultimate goal is to turn the will of the voters into a simple proposal,” Biden said in Atlanta on Tuesday. “Something the state can respect or ignore. Jim Crow 2.0 talks about two insidious things: suppressing voters and undermining elections. It is no longer a matter of who will vote. It’s about making voting more difficult. It’s about who counts the votes and whether your vote is counted at all. This is not hyperbole. It is a fact.”
No president has attacked U.S. electoral integrity like Trump, who has yet to admit to losing the 2020 election and continues to make false claims of widespread electoral fraud. He and his allies called on government officials to reverse the election results and endorsed wild schemes to cancel the 2020 congressional elections, leading to the siege of the US Capitol in January 2021.
Democrats and election experts are concerned that Trump’s GOP wing is actively laying the groundwork for success in 2024 where it failed in 2020 by canceling or questioning state elections even before their results can be confirmed. in Congress.
The Senate is due to vote this week on two voting rights bills to address the issue, but they face near-unanimous Republican opposition in Congress. Democrats want to unilaterally change Senate rules to pass the bills into law, lowering the voting threshold to 51 votes, but moderates like Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kirsten Cinema (Arizona) oppose the move, stating, that any rule changes must be bipartisan.
On Tuesday, Romney defended the filibusters as an important tool for the minority, warning that Democrats might regret eliminating them if Trump returns to power. Many progressives who previously supported filibusters now argue that abandoning them would benefit them far more than conservative interests, and that the risk is worth taking.
“There is also a reasonable chance that Republicans will win both houses of Congress, and that Donald Trump himself could be re-elected president in 2024,” Romney said. “Have the Democrats thought about what it would mean for them – for the democratic minority – a complete lack of power?”