Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ expansive overhaul of U.S. election laws from advancing to the chamber floor, dealing the Democratic majority a defeat on a chief 2020 campaign promise and underscoring their limited power in a chamber evenly split between the two political parties.
The bill failed to advance on a 50-50 party-line vote, short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. Democratic Senator
The showdown with Republicans is again putting the spotlight on the chamber’s filibuster rule. The GOP move against voting rights legislation will be used by Democratic leaders to make a case for changing getting rid of or changing filibuster, which allows a minority of just 41 senators to thwart most legislation.
Democrats renewed their attempt to pass the legislation after gaining control of both chambers of Congress and as some GOP-controlled states have imposed new voting rules, egged on by former President
“In the fight for voting rights, this vote was the starting gun, not the finish line,” Schumer said. “Make no mistake about it, it is not the last time that voting rights comes up for debate in the Senate.”
Senate GOP leader
“Whatever label Democrats slap on the bill, the substance remains the same: It’s always been a plan to rewrite the ground rules of American politics,” McConnell said.
The Senate bill, known as the For the People Act,
Manchin was the only Senate Democrat who didn’t sign onto the bill, arguing that it is best to have bipartisan changes to election laws. He met extensively with other Democrats and leaders of top civil rights groups in recent weeks as his opposition became an intense focus of interest. Manchin last week proposed his own, somewhat less sweeping measure.
‘Democracy Is in Peril’
“Democracy is in peril, here, in America. The right to vote – a sacred right in this country – is under assault with an intensity and an aggressiveness we have not seen in a long time,” the statement said. “This landmark legislation is needed to protect the right to vote, ensure the integrity of our elections, and repair and strengthen American democracy.”
Manchin’s proposal includes dozens of items addressing voting rights, ethics and campaign finance. Some are likely to appeal to Democrats, such as minimum standards for early voting, a ban on partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts and a federal holiday for election day. Yet the proposal also includes voter identification requirements, which generally are opposed by many Democrats.
His proposal has been embraced by 2018 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee
“I’ve found common ground with my Democratic colleagues on a new version of the bill that ensures our elections are fair, accessible and secure,” Manchin said in a statement. “Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues refused to allow debate of this legislation despite the reasonable changes made to focus the bill on the core issues facing our democracy.”
House Majority Leader
Manchin and Arizona Democratic Senator
In a Washington Post op-ed published on Monday night, Sinema reiterated her opposition to eliminating the filibuster.
(Updates with Schumer remarks in fifth paragraph)
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.