Senate Democrats switch strategy on voting bill as Biden pushes action - GulfToday

Senate Democrats switch strategy on voting bill as Biden pushes action


President Joe Biden attends a meeting. File photo

Gulf Today Report

Senate Democrats are trying to force a public showdown over their sweeping elections legislation, aiming to launch debate on a key party priority even though there’s no assurance the bill will come to a vote.

Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Wednesday blasted President Biden's push for a voting-rights bill, underscoring the difficulty Biden's Democrats face in trying to steer legislation through a Congress they narrowly control.


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Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined the plan in a memo obtained on Wednesday by the media, on the eve of President Joe Biden's visit to meet privately with Senate Democrats about the path forward. It still leaves the Democrats in need of a way to force a vote on the legislation, now blocked by a Republican filibuster.

Republican Senator Mitch McConnell speaks during a session. File photo

"We will finally have an opportunity to debate voting rights legislation — something that Republicans have thus far denied,” Schumer wrote in the memo to his Democratic colleagues, which described a workaround to avoid a Republican filibuster that for months has blocked formal debate over the legislation on the Senate floor. "Senators can finally make clear to the American people where they stand on protecting our democracy and preserving the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot.”

Biden has called for Democrats to jettison the chamber's longstanding "filibuster" rule requiring 60 of the 100 senators to agree to advance most legislation, a move that McConnell said would irreparably damage the Senate.

"The president's rant yesterday was incoherent, incorrect and beneath his office," McConnell said on the Senate floor, referring to Biden's speech in Atlanta on Tuesday in which he appealed for voting-rights legislation and called Republicans cowardly for not supporting it.


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