WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate is gearing up for a final showdown on voting rights legislation. Democrats accuse republican-led states and their legislatures of passing laws that suppress the right to vote, but the congressional Dems have a slim chance of passing this legislation.
It’s a senate showdown over election laws.
“It’s clear to me that republican politicians across the nation and even here in Washington are attempting to make it harder for tens of millions of Americans to register to vote,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA).
The Senate spent hours debating bills that would establish nationwide standards for ballot access, aiming to offset new state laws that some have criticized of suppressing the right to vote.
Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY) criticizes the other side of the aisle of not focusing on more pressing issues like inflation, COVID and the Russia-Ukraine threat.
“Instead they’ve been consumed by a fake panic in election laws that seem to exist only in their imaginations,” said McConnell.
Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) fires back saying there is a nationwide crisis for voting rights.
“If there’s no effort to suppress the vote, why have states from Texas to Montana restricting the number and hours of polling places,” asked Schumer. “Is that not suppressing the vote?”
Current rules state that in order for these bills to pass, they’ll need 60 votes, which looks unlikely to pass. And if these bills fail, Schumer said they’ll move to change the rules to allow a ‘talking filibuster’ on the voting legislation, which would force lawmakers who want to filibuster the bill to speak on the floor in opposition and at the end of that, the Senate would be able to allow a final 51-senator majority vote instead of the 60 currently needed, to move forward with this legislation.
Republicans have opposed the rule change including a couple of Democrats. Making it very likely both voting rights legislation and the filibuster rule change to fail.
“The Senate rules should not be broken or bent simply to achieve partisan wins,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R- TX).
This is a developing story. The Senate plans to vote on this legislation later on January 19th.