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Graham Calls Voting Rights Push the 'Most Hyped, Manufactured Issue in a Long Time'

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is dismissing a Democratic push to pass voting rights legislation as a response to a “manufactured issue.”

During a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, Graham said, “As to voting rights itself, I think this is the most hyped, manufactured issue in a long time. This is not a problem in search of a solution, it’s a manufactured problem.”

“There’s some efforts to change election laws throughout the country as more and more people vote by mail. I think it’s incumbent that you have same voter identification requirements [for] voting by mail as you do in person — it’d be so easy to manipulate that system,” he continued.

Finally, Graham said, “The bottom line here is, this is an effort by the Democratic leader to basically say that Republicans, at our heart, are a bunch of racists when it comes to voting.”

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Graham’s remarks came hours ahead of a scheduled speech by President Joe Biden on voting rights in which he is expected to endorse making changes to the Senate filibuster so Democrats can pass voting rights legislation with just 51 votes.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats would try to change the filibuster rules if Senate Republicans blocked voting rights legislation.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Schumer appeared to connect the Jan. 6 riot to what he called “voter suppression laws” passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.

“We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?” he asked.

Finally, “The fight for the ballot is as old as the Republic. Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy.”

“We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair election,” he added.

However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Tuesday that Republicans will make the Senate “more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory” if Democrats change the filibuster rules.

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