Democrats' voting rights bill blocked by Senate Republicans

  
Via:  Texan1211  •  4 months ago  •  40 comments

By:   Savannah Behrmann and Ledyard King (USA TODAY)

Democrats' voting rights bill blocked by Senate Republicans
Republicans oppose the voting rights law, a Biden priority. In an evenly split, 50-50 Senate, Democrats don't have the votes to overcome a filibuster.

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Now that this farcical drama is over, perhaps Democrats can focus on the really important stuff like inflation, supply chain issues, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and of course, the January 6 Commission.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Savannah BehrmannLedyard KingUSA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Democrats came up short Wednesday night on a last-ditch effort to advance a voting rights bill and ending, for now, their push to beat back a myriad of GOP-sponsored state laws that civil rights advocates say would suppress turnout by minority voters.

The vote earlier Wednesday night to end debate on the bill was shot down, 51-49, with every Republican voting against moving the bill to the Senate floor for a final vote. Democrats needed 60 votes overcome a legislative procedure known as the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., changed his vote to "nay" at the end so he can bring the legislation up again at a later date if he wishes.

Hours later, a separate vote to change the filibuster rules for the voting rights bill so it could pass with a simple majority of 51 votes also failed.

In a statement shortly after the failed vote to change the filibuster, President Joe Biden said: "I am profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed — but I am not deterred.

"My Administration will never stop fighting to ensure that the heart and soul of our democracy — the right to vote — is protected at all costs. We will continue to work with allies to advance necessary legislation to protect the right to vote. And to push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote."

The success of a voting rights bill seemed a long shot for months in the evenly divided chamber. Republicans have stood in opposition all year, but its fate was ultimately sealed last week as Democrats were unable to convince Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to go along with a plan to change the Senate rules and allow a vote on the measure.

The bill combined the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

Democrats put renewed focus on voting rights: What happened in 2021, and where do proposals stand now?

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named for the late Georgia Democratic representative and civil rights icon, would restore Justice Department review of changes in election law in states with a history of discrimination.

The Freedom to Vote Act would create a federal standard for voting by mail and drop boxes - means of voting that former President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers attacked during the 2020 election. The legislation would also expand early voting options and access to mail-in ballots; curb large, anonymous political contributions known as dark money; and allow for same-day voter registration on Election Day.

"The purpose of the Freedom to Vote Act is to give every eligible American more choices about how and when to cast a ballot, no matter where you live, no matter which state or in which zip code, no matter your political party preference," Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said onthe Senate floor Wednesday.

Voting rights and election reform: Senate Republicans block latest legislation

However, in order to pass the legislation, 10 Senate Republicans would have needed to join all 50 Democratic voting senators to bypass the filibuster.

Republicans have consistently argued elections should be left up to the states and that federal legislation would violate the Constitution and unfairly tilt elections toward Democrats.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called it a "partisan bill to take over the nation's elections," during the Senate floor debate.

Blocked from bringing the bill to the floor for a vote on passage, Democratic leaders then put forth a vote to change the filibusterto advance the bill.Most Democratic senators and President Joe Biden threw their support behind the rule change.

More:Sen. Mark Kelly supports change to Senate's filibuster rule for voting-rights legislation

'Let the majority prevail': Biden backs filibuster change to pass voting rights in Atlanta speech

Democrats argue urgent action on voting rights is needed because Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud helped spur the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol last year as well as a raft of laws in nearly 20 states restricting voter access or participation.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy group affiliated with the New York University School of Law, in 2021 at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting.

More:What is the filibuster? A look at the Senate's consequential quirk and debate on its future

Democrats needed a unified caucus, or 51 votes with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie in the 50-50 Senate, to change the Senate rule that preserves the filibuster.

Sinema of Arizona and Manchin of West Virginiastated repeatedly prior to the vote on the rule change they support the decades-oldSenate rule, arguing that the filibuster is important toprotecting the minority party. They have remained unmoved on their position despite pressure from their party.

Sinema delivered a passionate speech from the Senate floor minutes before Biden arrived on Capitol Hill last week to talk to the caucus about voting rights and the filibuster. She said eliminating the filibuster would make the Senate more partisan and "would worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country."

More:Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin defend filibuster, likely crushing Biden's hopes of passing voting rights bill

Senate Democratic leaders worked behind the scenes to come up with a scenario to get Sinema and Manchin on board and put forth changes to the Senate rules to revert back to a "talking filibuster".

A talking filibuster would require senators who object to legislation to be physically present and debate a bill and would limit the time of debate before the chamber would move on to final passage with a simple majority. Currently, a senator can keep a bill from reaching the floor without being present to lodge an objection.

"If Republicans block cloture on legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation as recommended by a number of our colleagues who've been working on this reform for a long time," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday, reiterating the rule change would be used just for voting rights.

Senators debated the issue late Wednesday night, though its chances of success seemed dim from the start as Harris, who would be a tie breaker if Manchin and Sinema were on board to give Democrats 50 votes, left the Capitol before lawmakers began.

She told reporters as she left the building that "Whatever happens tonight from the outcome of this vote, the president and I are not going to give up on this issue. This is fundamental to our democracy, and it is non negotiable."

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said during the debate, "Our proposal is to restore a talking filibuster... and to make a simple change, to make it public rather than secret so that our colleagues and the American public can understand and then hold us accountable for our action."

The vote failed 48-52 with Manchin and Sinema joining all Republicans.

Manchin spoke earlier from the Senate floor during the debate on the voting rights legislation Wednesday, reiterating his support for the filibuster, saying that eliminating it, even just for voting rights, would "be the easy way out."

"It wasn't meant to be easy. I cannot support such a perilous course for this nation when elected leaders are sent to Washington to unite our country, not to divide our country," he said. "We're called the United States, not the divided states. And putting politics and party aside is what we're supposed to do. It's time that we do the hard work to forge a difficult compromise that can stand the test of time."


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Texan1211
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    4 months ago

Anyone willing to bet that the Democrats will be a-okay with current laws IF they win?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @1    4 months ago

That's what is telling about all this.  If they even had an inkling that they would win, this wouldn't be an issue.  All indications show that they are going to lose the mid-terms and there is a slim chance of any democrat Presidential Candidate winning.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    4 months ago
"Now that this farcical drama is over, perhaps Democrats can focus on the really important stuff like inflation, supply chain issues, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and of course, the January 6 Commission."

....and the virus?

Doesn't it all depend on what the Republicans ALLOW them to do?   We're talking about America, are we not?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
2.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    4 months ago

Buzz - the Dems/Libs are in office - not the Repubs.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1    4 months ago
"Buzz - the Dems/Libs are in office - not the Repubs."

You're trying to tell me that the Republicans are not preventing the Democrats from passing legislation that would benefit Americans?  jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.1.2  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.1    4 months ago

Nope, it is two DEMOCRATS that have prevented the passage of legislation they felt would NOT benefit Americans...

Democrats, if they were robotic puppets that did what their masters told them too, would have all this passed already.. They actually do have complete control of the government... The same as they did in the first two years of Obama's administration...

The Republicans have no power at all...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.1    4 months ago
You're trying to tell me that the Republicans are not preventing the Democrats from passing legislation that would benefit Americans?

Exactly.

Republicans are in the minority. They don't have enough votes to block legislation all by themselves.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.1.4  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.1    4 months ago
You're trying to tell me that the Republicans are not preventing the Democrats from passing legislation that would benefit Americans

A - Republicans are not able to block anything and 

B - There is little chance this legislation would benefit Americans.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.2  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    4 months ago
....and the virus?

Didn't President Biden recently announce to the entire world that there is no federal solution to Covid?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nowhere Man @2.2    4 months ago
"Didn't President Biden recently announce to the entire world that there is no federal solution to Covid?"

Unfortunately in the USA it is a patchwork quilt of yes and no, so no effective universal effort is a possibility - it takes a REAL war to get Americans to cooperate with each other.  LOL. So much for the good of the nation and its people.  Isn't America the nation of "Give me liberty, or give me death"?  It sure is amazing to see so many Americans getting their wish.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.2.2  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.1    4 months ago

And it sure is amazing to see just how many millions of people want to come live here under that ideal as well..

I know very very confusing....

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.2.3  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.1    4 months ago
Isn't America the nation of "Give me liberty, or give me death"?  It sure is amazing to see so many Americans getting their wish.

Yes, we are that nation.  Why would it be amazing to see us do what we've always done?

A truly free society is free even when it's not safe.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nowhere Man @2.2.2    4 months ago

P.T. Barnum wasn't confused.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @2.2.3    4 months ago

Is it the people in a nation or the nation itself that is capable of being suicidal?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.2.6  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.5    4 months ago
Is it the people in a nation or the nation itself that is capable of being suicidal?

Melodrama aside, yes, maintaining our principles has come with great cost.  But it often does.  That is no reason to toss them aside.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @2.2.3    4 months ago

What you've always done?  Seems to me that the divisiveness has become worse, much worse.  But then, you DID have a civil war as part of American History didn't you - now it's neighbour vs neightbour and even at family gettogethers relatives have to hold their tongues.  

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.2.8  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.4    4 months ago
P.T. Barnum wasn't confused.

What is the relevance to PT Barnum? Could you please explain this reference to me?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.9  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nowhere Man @2.2.8    4 months ago

Those millions of people who think America's streets are paved with gold are suckers.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.2.10  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.7    4 months ago
Seems to me that the divisiveness has become worse, much worse.

I don't know if that's really the case, or if it just seems that way because absolutely every idiot in America can grind whatever axe they want 280 characters at a time.  It may be true, but I think it's tough to say.

We were pretty violently divided on Viet Nam and a host of other issues in the 60's and 70's.  

  But then, you DID have a civil war as part of American History didn't you

Don't forget we were formed out of a civil war.

- now it's neighbour vs neightbour and even at family gettogethers relatives have to hold their tongues. 

Somewhat, yeah.  It's like one giant episode of All In The Family.

We're basically re-living the 1970's, only more extreme because all the numbers are bigger and social media amplifies everything. 

  • Nixon => Trump
  • Carter => Biden
  • Oil Embargo => Covid  (black swan event that creates massive recession and produces a fundamental shift in American life)
  • Greatest Generation v Boomers generation gap => Boomers v Millennials generation gap
  • Viet Nam => Afghanistan
  • Double digit inflation => Double digit inflation
  • Russian invasion of Afghanistan => Russian invasion of Ukraine (probably)

We got through all of that then, and we'll get through it all again.  

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.2.11  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.9    4 months ago
Those millions of people who think America's streets are paved with gold are suckers.

Worldwide about 5.2 million people became new millionaires in 2020.  Almost 1/4 of those were in the USA.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.12  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @2.2.11    4 months ago

And financial success is what a person is to be measured by.  

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.2.13  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.12    4 months ago
And financial success is what a person is to be measured by.  

No, but what the world's poor know is that the best place to achieve financial success and at least have a chance to enjoy the best standard of living available in the world...

Come to the USA... but then again, pretty much anywhere on the planet is better than the mud holes they left behind...

And despite all those who will protest otherwise, if you haven't achieved at lease a decent standard of living here, then you haven't tried...

Doesn't matter how you got here... It isn't going to be handed to you...

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.14  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nowhere Man @2.2.13    4 months ago

I'm about to post an article that indicates that the young and talented are leaving the USA.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Senior Quiet
2.2.15  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.12    4 months ago
And financial success is what a person is to be measured by.

I made no such comment.

I merely point out that your statement about "suckers" is incorrect.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.16  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.14    4 months ago

I posted that article 13 hours ago, about the brain drain - the ambitious bright young minds that are LEAVING the USA, a sort of contrary situation from those who are bragging about the millions who want to come to the USA, and naturally no American "Exceptionalists" want to admit knowing anything about that.  LOL. (link to that article, that was pushed off the Front Page as fast as possible) -> ->

  

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Expert
2.2.17  Nowhere Man  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.16    4 months ago
I posted that article 13 hours ago, about the brain drain - the ambitious bright young minds that are LEAVING the USA, a sort of contrary situation from those who are bragging about the millions who want to come to the USA, and naturally no American "Exceptionalists" want to admit knowing anything about that.  LOL. (link to that article, that was pushed off the Front Page as fast as possible)

Waiting my peace till everyone else gets it off their chest....

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.2.18  XXJefferson51  replied to  Jack_TX @2.2.11    4 months ago

With 4% of the world’s population having 25% of the new millionaires is great.  

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.2.19  XXJefferson51  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.16    4 months ago

It used to be against the rules to invade someone’s seed with a link to promote ones own seed somewhere else….

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.20  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  XXJefferson51 @2.2.18    4 months ago

And a lot of homeless people living on the streets, as the income division gets wider and wider.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.21  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  XXJefferson51 @2.2.19    4 months ago

A valid response to a topic raised by the person replied to.  So if I contravened the CoC, flag my comment.  I'm a big boy, I can handle one or two points a month, if any at all. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    4 months ago

The virus??

No problem, Super Joe promised to defeat it, so it must be defeated by now!!!!

Joe must have given the virus that old Corn Pop treatment!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.3    4 months ago

Too little, too late, Texan.  Effective gun control, effective health care for every American with no bankruptcies caused by it, effective virus control - forget it, it's too late and there is no way those things are going to happen in the USA no matter WHICH party is in power. .

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.3.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.1    4 months ago

Well, I love America even though we have problems--like all nations seem to have.

The people who don't are certainly under no obligation to come here or to deal with America in any way.

Of course, I live here and can express my thoughts freely, as can all who live here.

Gee, I wonder how acceptable that is to all countries?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.3.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.3.2    4 months ago

Just like you, I'm free to do whatever I want to do and/or need to do without consequence.  I have neither the desire nor the need to do or say anything that would be contrary to custom or legality where I am as well.  Maybe that's why I never got into any trouble in any of the many countries I have during my lifetime visited or lived in.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm as free as you are. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.3.4  Ronin2  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.3    4 months ago

All birds in cages believe they are free, so long as they don't run into the bars.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.3.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ronin2 @2.3.4    4 months ago

And nobody in the world is any different than those birds, because no country in the world is bars-free.  There is no country in the world where there are no laws, rules, regulations, customs, morals, guidelines and consequences for contravening them.  Chacun à son goût.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.3.6  Ronin2  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.3.5    4 months ago

Some cages are also much bigger than others.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.3.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ronin2 @2.3.6    4 months ago
‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’

Thank you, George.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    4 months ago

"We are mindful of the unique role the Senate plays in the legislative process, and we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that this great American institution continues to serve as the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the letter’s bipartisan signatories avowed. “Therefore, we are asking you to join us in opposing any effort to curtail the existing rights and prerogatives of Senators to engage in full, robust, and extended debate as we consider legislation before this body in the future,"

Signed by 30 Democratic Senators like Kamala Harris, Kristin Gillenbrand, Cory Booker, Maggie Hassan, Amy Klobacher  just four years ago. 

Now they are censoring a Senator for putting their belief into action. Goldfish have better memories and more honor than these zealots. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 months ago
"Goldfish have better memories and more honor than these zealots."

Not only that, they can even drive. (link) ->->

 
 

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