Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on the Senate floor that Republicans block the Freedom to Vote Act, Democrats will pass it on their own.
Leader Schumer said:
Last week, several of my colleagues introduced the Freedom to Vote Act – a powerful new bill that would tackle head-on voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering and the scourge of dark money.
The legislation also responds to recommendations from election officials and includes new provisions to boost confidence in our elections, including critical anti-election subversion reforms, a flexible voter ID standard and common-sense voter list maintenance requirements.
This legislation will promote greater confidence in our elections and I believe all Senators – Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike – should support the package.
At the end of last week, I moved to place the Freedom to Vote Act on the Legislative Calendar, enabling me to schedule a vote on this bill in the immediate future.
This week, my colleague Senator Manchin, who helped craft this legislation and relied on many of the good practices in West Virginia to do so, is making an effort, a good faith effort, to reach to colleagues on the other side of the aisle to win support of the Freedom to Vote Act—and in fact he has been meeting with a number of our Republican colleagues.
We are committed to finding common ground, if there is common ground to be found. We look forward to hearing what changes Republicans might want to make. And if Republicans engage earnestly and honestly, we will work with them. The voting rights working group I convened earlier this year is prepared to help in that effort.
But we need to move quickly. Time is of the essence. As Senator Manchin said earlier this year regarding Congressional action on voting rights, “Inaction is not an option.” I agree with Senator Manchin in that regard.
To that end, it is my intention to hold a vote for the Freedom to Vote Act here on the Senate floor.
If Republicans are unwilling to move forward, Democrats will have to move on our own. Inaction from Republicans on Voting Rights is not an excuse to do nothing. We are going to take action to make sure we protect our Democracy and fight back against the disease of voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering and election subversion that is metastasizing at the state level.
Schumer would not have promised on the Senate floor that Democrats would move on their own to pass a voting rights bill if they didn’t already have an agreed-upon plan.
There are a couple of different options on the table. Democrats could include the voting rights legislation in the reconciliation bill, or they could do a narrow carve-out to the filibuster on elections and voting rights.
Democrats are now all together on a single bill, so after Republicans block this legislation, it will be time to see what Democrats have come up with to pass the legislation.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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