Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders see as crucial to protecting democracy collapsed when two senators refused to join their party in changing Senate rules. Senate to weather Republican disagreements after a rough, emotional debate.
The result Wednesday night was a stinging defeat for President Joe Biden and his party, coming at a tumultuous period near his first year in office.
Despite a full day of debates and speeches often reminiscent of a period before the Senate debate was carried out by opponents of the civil rights law, Democrats were unable to convince the senators. Congressmen Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia changed Senate procedures. on this one bill and allow the majority to simply advance it.
“I am extremely disappointed,” Biden said in a statement after the vote.
However, the president said he was “not discouraged” and vowed to “explore every means and use every tool at our disposal to stand up for democracy”.
Voting rights advocates are warning that Republican-led states across the country are passing legislation that makes it harder for black Americans and others to vote by consolidating polling stations, requiring Request some form of identification and order other changes.
Vice President Kamala Harris briefly presided over the Senate, possibly breaking the Senate tie 50-50 if needed, but she left before the final vote. The rule change was rejected 52-48, with Manchin and Sinema joining the Republican opposition.
For now, the vote at night ends legislation that has been a top priority for Democrats since the party took control of Congress and the White House.
“This is a virtuous moment,” said Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
The Democrats’ bill, Freedom to Vote: The John R. Lewis Act, would make Election Day a national holiday, guaranteeing access to early voting and voting by mail – capital has become especially common during the COVID-19 pandemic — and allows the Justice Department to intervene in states with a history of voter interference, among other changes. It went through the House.
Both Manchin and Sinema say they support the legislation, but Democrats are short of the 60 votes needed to push the bill past Republican opposition. It lost to 51-49 in a largely partisan vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., voted procedurally against it so the bill could be considered later.
Next, Schumer put a rule change to a “talking movie” on this one bill. It would require senators to stand at their desks and exhaust the debate before holding a simple majority vote, rather than the current practice of simply allowing senators to vote. signal objections privately.
But that also failed because Manchin and Sinema were unwilling to change the Senate’s rule on a party-line vote by Democrats alone.
Emotions were expressed in the debate on the floor.
When Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky if he would stop to answer the question, McConnell left the room, refusing to answer.
Durbin said he would ask McConnell, “Does he really believe there is no evidence of voter suppression?”
2 Republican, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, at one point said, “I’m not a racist.”
McConnell, who led his party in removing the profiler’s 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court candidates during Donald Trump’s presidency, has warned against changing the rules. once again.
McConnell mocked the “fake hysteria” from Democrats about the new states’ voting laws and called the pending bill a federal takeover of voting systems. He reminded Democrats in a fiery speech and said removing the offending rules would “break the Senate.”
Manchin drew a string of senators for his own speech, backing the president’s press conference and defending the cameraman. He said the change to a majority Senate would only add to “the dysfunction that is tearing this country apart”.
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus passed by the Capitol to proceed with the proceedings. “We want this Senate to act favorably today. But if we don’t, we’re not giving up,” said Representative Jim Clyburn, DS.C., the most senior member of Black Congress.
Manchin opened the door to a package of changes to the voting law more relevant, including a change to the Voter Count Act, which was tested during the Uprising on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. said senators from both parties are working on it and it could garner Republican support.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said a bipartisan coalition should work on legislation to ensure voter access, especially in remote areas like her state, and strengthen trust Americans believe in democracy.
“We don’t need, we don’t need to repeat 2020 when our last president, who lost the election, sought to change the outcome,” Murkowski said.
She said the Senate debate had dropped to an unsettling state: “You can be a racist or a hypocrite. Really really? Is that where we are? ”
At one point, the senators broke out into applause after a heated debate between Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, among more experienced lawmakers, and new Senator Jon Ossoff. , D-Ga., On the History of the Voting Rights Act.
Sinema sat in her chair for much of the day’s debate, largely glued to her phone, but stood up to cast her vote against the rule change.
In a statement, Sinema said the results “are not the end of our work in defense of democracy.” But she warned, “these challenges cannot be addressed by one party or Washington alone.”
Schumer said the fight was not over, and he mocked Republican claims that the new voting laws in the states would not affect voter access and turnout, comparing it to “the word Trump’s big lie” about the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats decided to stick around despite the high probability of defeat as Biden is marking his first year in office with his priorities stalled in the face of firm Republican opposition and Democrats Owners cannot unite around their own goals. They want to force the senators on file – even those holding their own party – to show voters where they stand.
Once reluctant to change Senate rules, Biden has ramped up pressure on senators to do so. But the push from the White House, including Biden’s tense speech last week in Atlanta comparing his opponent to isolationists, was seen as too late.
Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri and Brian Slodysko contributed to this report.
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https://www.winknews.com/2022/01/20/voting-bill-collapses-democrats-unable-to-change-filibuster/ Voting Bill Collapses, Democrats Can’t Change Accounts