House passes voting rights bill, speeding up Senate showdown

WASHINGTON — The House passed a repackaged set of suffrage bills on Thursday, fending off Republican opposition and hastily sending the ...

WASHINGTON — The House passed a repackaged set of suffrage bills on Thursday, fending off Republican opposition and hastily sending the legislation to the Senate to force a showdown over the fate of the measures and the scope of the obstruction. systematic.

Acting as part of a Democratic plan to expedite Senate bills, the House approved the new measure on a party-line vote of 220 to 203 after a heated partisan debate in which lawmakers clashed over the state of election laws across the country.

The new legislation combined two separate bills already passed by the House – the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – and joined them in what had been an unrelated measure covering NASA. The move will allow the Senate to present the bill directly to the prosecution, bypassing a first obstruction, although Republicans can still prevent it from making it to the final vote.

Democrats said the legislation was urgently needed to offset efforts in Republican-led states to make it harder to vote after Democratic gains in the 2020 election and former President Donald J. Trump that the vote was stolen. They argue that the wave of new state laws is clearly aimed at reducing voting in minority communities, which amounts to a contemporary version of the kinds of restrictions that prevailed before the enactment of landmark civil rights laws in the 1960s.

“There are people out there who don’t want you to vote and they’re using every tool in the toolbox to make it harder,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schutz, Democrat of Florida, referring to the enactment at the over the past year new voting restrictions in Republican-led states. “Voter suppression has not been written into the history books. He’s here today, now.

Republicans denounced the maneuver used to pass the bill on Thursday, accusing Democrats of “hijacking” the space agency’s measure to push through legislation they say represented a federal intrusion into state voting operations. to give Democratic candidates an unfair advantage.

“This is a giant step backwards for the integrity of the US election,” said Rep. Tom Tiffany, Republican of Wisconsin.

New York Democrat and Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said the Senate will begin debate on the bill passed by the House as quickly as possible. This will be the Senate’s fifth attempt to consider such legislation after Republicans have used filibuster four times to prevent bills from even reaching the ground.

“The Senate will finally hold a debate on voting rights legislation for the first time in this Congress,” Schumer said Thursday. “Each senator will be faced with the choice of whether or not to pass this law to protect our democracy.”

While the Senate’s 50 Democrats support the legislation, Republicans almost uniformly oppose it, leaving Democrats short of the 60 votes needed under current rules to end debate and force a final vote. President Biden on Tuesday urged Democrats to force a change to the rules of the voting rights law to allow the party to bypass a simple majority obstruction.

At least two Democrats — Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — have so far said they won’t, meaning the legislation will die in the Senate if they don’t. not change their positions. On Thursday, Mr. Biden was meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill to try to persuade them.

The Free Suffrage Act contains a series of proposals aimed at establish national standards for access to ballots, aimed at reversing the wave of new restrictions in the states. There should be a minimum of 15 consecutive days of early voting and that all voters can apply to vote by mail; it would also establish new automatic voter registration programs and make election day a national holiday. It’s a narrower version of the legislation Democrats introduced early last year, but revised to suit M. Manchin, who said the original bill was too broad and insisted on including a provision requiring voters to present some form of identification.

A second measure named for Representative John Lewis, the civil rights icon and former congressman who is dead in 2020, would be restore parts of the historic Voting Rights Act weakened by Supreme Court rulings. Among the provisions was one requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to obtain prior approval – or “preclearance” – from the Department of Justice or the Washington federal courts before changing their voting rules.

Mr Schumer set an action deadline for Monday, setting it in celebration of the birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Democrats said the deadline was appropriate.

“The right to vote has not been so threatened since Dr. King walked among us,” said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and majority leader.

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Newsrust - US Top News: House passes voting rights bill, speeding up Senate showdown
House passes voting rights bill, speeding up Senate showdown
Newsrust - US Top News
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