Senate Republicans on Wednesday again filibustered a controversial voting bill that Democrats argued was necessary to protect voting rights.
The bill, The Freedom to Vote Act, failed 49-51, with Senate Republicans denying it the 60 votes needed to begin debate on the bill. Unlike earlier voting bills brought to the floor by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this one had full Democrat support. Just like previous attempts, Schumer failed to reach across the aisle ending the effort as you’d expect.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described the bill as nothing more than a Democratic “election takeover scheme.”
“The latest umpteenth iteration is only a compromise in the sense that the left and the far left argued among themselves about how much power to grab,” McConnell added.
The bill was authored by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Manchin was the only Democratic senator to oppose his party’s original voting bill, the For the People Act. The new bill would no longer restructure the Federal Election Commission in a partisan manner, make Election Day a national holiday or adopt several automatic registration components.
The bill would also adopt new redistricting rules favoring Democrats unnecessarily, federally mandate two weeks of early voting, and restrict secretaries of state from purging inaccurate data from the voter rolls.
Klobuchar attempted to goad Republicans into allowing debate over the bill, accusing them of “hiding behind their desks” instead of arguing against it on the floor. “Why would you shy away from debating this bill unless you do not want the American people to hear the truth?” she said. In actuality, allowing debate (forgoing the filibuster) would have opened the door for Democrats to pass the bill on party lines.
Democrats have tried to pass federal voting legislation multiple times since taking complete control of Congress in January. They argued that such bills are necessary in the wake of Republican-controlled states that have passed election reform bills clarifying voting hours, implementing popular photo ID requirements and adding identification requirements to vote by mail.
Americans, by far, would prefer a clean Voter ID bill to be passed instead of the confusing litany of partisan hackery in each of the Democrats proposals. A recent Monmouth poll showed that 80% of Americans favor voter ID laws.
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