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Senate Republicans Block Dems' Voting Rights Bill

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Senate Republicans have blocked Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill.

While the result of the vote on Tuesday was not unexpected, Senate Democrats decided to hold a key procedural vote on the bill.

In a 50-50 vote, Republicans blocked debate on the election reform bill. Due to the 60 vote threshold in the chamber, Democrats would have needed 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster and begin debate on the bill.

The vote means that Democrats’ hope of the bill expanding access to voting rights is stalled for now.

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While Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) previously said he would oppose the For the People Act in its original form, he reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote in favor of beginning debate on the bill.

“Over the past month, I have worked to eliminate the far reaching provisions of S.1, the For the People Act – which I do not support. 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.

He added, “Today I will vote ‘YES’ to move to debate this updated voting legislation as a substitute amendment to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and participate in our great democracy.”

The vote led progressive members of Congress to call for Democrats to abolish the filibuster, which would let them pass legislation with just 51 votes with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie breaking vote in the Senate.

After the vote, Schumer took aim at Republicans, claiming they were using the “language and the logic” of Southern senators in the 1960s.

Still, he added, “This vote was the starting point, not the finish line.”

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