Senate Republicans Again Block Voting Rights Legislation


Senate Republicans have once again blocked a Democratic effort to start debate on legislation to overhaul voting and election laws.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 51-49 against starting the debate on the Freedom to Vote Bill. Democrats needed at least 10 Republicans to vote for the move. However none did.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) changed his vote to “no,” which lets him ask for a re-vote on the bill.

The legislation would have made election day a federal holiday, implemented same-day voter registration and automatic registration, required at least two weeks of early voting, expanded access to mail-in voting, restricted efforts to purge voter rolls, and included provisions to protect election workers.

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Ahead of the vote, President Joe Biden tweeted, “The sacred right to vote is under unrelenting assault across the country — and the Senate needs to take action to protect it. Senate Republicans need to allow a debate and let there be a vote on the Freedom to Vote Act. Democracy — the very soul of America — is at stake.”

Congressional Democrats quickly reacted to the Republicans’ decision to block the bill:

Earlier this year, Senate Republicans blocked debate on Democrats’ “For the People Act,” as IJR reported.

After that vote, Schumer accused Republicans of carrying out “the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years, capitalizing on and catalyzed by Donald Trump’s ‘big lie.’”

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“The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy, voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards, the Senate should not act,” he said, adding, “My colleagues, if senators 60 years ago held that the federal government should never intervene to protect voting rights, this body would have never passed the Voting Rights Act. The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the Southern senators in the 60s who defended states’ rights, and it is an indefensible position.”

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