The U.S. Senate tried to hold a procedural vote on whether to advance an amended version of the House passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, however, Republicans blocked the vote Tuesday night.
The legislation is co-sponsored by every Senate Democrat except West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who told NBC News he’d vote for a debate on the amended bill after he received assurances that the Senate would consider a compromise version he helped draft.
The Democratic-led Senate needed all 50 Democratic votes and at least 10 Republicans to clear the 60 votes threshold. So far 14 states have introduced and passed voting restriction bills limiting everything from mail-in voting, absentee voting, ballot drop boxes, voter ID requirements and even laws limiting food and beverages near polling sites.
Many of these bills were introduced and passed based on former President Donald Trump’s false elections claims after he lost the 2020 Presidential Election. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill is an effort to respond to the restrictive voting bills that has been passing through Republican-led states.
“They don’t even want to debate it because they’re afraid. They want to deny the right to vote, make it harder to vote for so many Americans, and they don’t want to talk about it,” Schumer, (D-N.Y.,) said on Tuesday. “There is a rot — a rot — at the center of the modern Republican party. Donald Trump’s big lie has spread like a cancer and threatens to envelop one of America’s major political parties.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a press conference Tuesday it’s a lie that Republican-led states are involved in a systematic effort to restrict voting.
McConnell: "The biggest lie being told in American politics…has been that the states are involved in a systematic effort to suppress the vote."
In 43 states, Republican state lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws to limit voting, according to Brennan Center for Justice pic.twitter.com/9PAXzx3AAT
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) June 22, 2021
“The biggest lie being told in American politics…has been that the states are involved in a systematic effort to suppress the vote.”
Former President Barack Obama called the filibuster “a tool for obstruction” and urged Republicans not to use it.
“Think about this: In the aftermath of an insurrection, with our democracy on the line and many of the same Republican senators going along with the notion that somehow there were irregularities and problems with legitimacy in our most recent election, they’re suddenly afraid to even talk about these issues and figure out a solution on the floor of the Senate,” Obama said. “That’s not acceptable.”