Senate GOP members this Wednesday blocked the movement of the Freedom to Vote Act, one among three top voting bills put forward by Dems in Congress this year.
“Our GOP colleagues might not agree with everything that is inside this bill. Okay, then don’t hide behind your desk. Don’t deny us the ability to debate this bill,” Minnesota Dem Senator Amy Klobuchar, a lead sponsor of the law, said on the floor of the Senate before the vote which was expected to fail.
She noted that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the path to GOP amendments to the bill, as long as they were “in line with the aims of the legislation.”
But Republicans rightly viewed the bill as Democrats’ newest iteration of their national election takeover scheme, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it on the floor of the Senate this Wednesday.
“I have only about lost count of how many times our Dem colleagues have attempted to truss up the same election takeover with new measures,” McConnell said. “For many years running, Washington Democrats have given a rotating merry-go-round of reasons to explain why they must federalize our voting laws.”
The bill was stopped with a 49-51 vote along party lines this Wednesday afternoon. Schumer altered his vote to no at the end, in a strategic move that will allow him to reintroduce the legislation for a new consideration later.
Sweeping election changes is a top priority for Democrats and has been for several years. It got new attention after former President Trump claimed fraud during the 2020 election and red state legislation across the nation seeking to limit pandemic voting rules like automatic mail-in voting, drop boxes, and drive-through voting.
But Democrats have worked to advance election “reform” legislation through the Senate not only because of the current filibuster but because of conservative Dem Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia not agreeing to the Democrats’ recent voting rights legislation.
Back in August, the House approved the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill to recreate provisions of the Voting Rights Act that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against. It was then introduced in the Senate, but has no GOP support, and seems to be destined to be blocked by conservatives again if it comes back up in the Senate.
Author: Blake Ambrose
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