Harris Tells Texas Democrats the White House Will Fight for Voting Rights

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Harris Tells Texas Democrats the White House Will Fight for Voting Rights” – below is their description.

    Vice President Kamala Harris greeted Texas Democratic lawmakers at the White House who last month blocked passage of legislation that would have made it significantly harder for the people of Texas to vote.

    She told the group Wednesday in the Roosevelt Room, “You are courageous leaders and American patriots.”

    The Texas Democratic legislators pulled off a dramatic, last-ditch walkout in the state House of Representatives in May to block passage of one of the most restrictive voting bills in the U.S., leaving Republicans with no choice but to abandon a midnight deadline and declare the legislative session essentially over.

    The revolt is one of Democrats’ biggest protests to date against GOP efforts nationwide to impose stricter election laws, and they used the spotlight to urge President Joe Biden to act on voting rights.

    The Biden administration has made Harris the point person on voting rights.

    “We know we have a great challenge in front of us and therefore a fight, which is to fight for every American’s right, meaningful right to vote,” she said.

    Harris laid out Texas as an example of Republican eagerness for voter suppression.

    Since Donald Trump’s defeat, at least 14 states have enacted more restrictive voting laws, according to the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice. It has counted nearly 400 bills filed this year nationwide that would restrict voting.

    “We will do everything in our power as an administration to lift up the voices of those who seek to preserve the right of the people to vote. We’re not telling people how to vote. And frankly, this is not a Democratic or a Republican issue. This is an American issue,” Harris said.

    Harris restated the administration’s support for legislation that would create minimum federal standards for voting and pointed out a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively set aside the “preclearance” requirement, that Democrats say has resulted in a proliferation of restrictive voting laws in recent years.

    “We have seen exactly what we feared when that case came down in 2013, because that case was an opening of a door to allow states to do what otherwise we had protected against, which is states putting in place laws that are designed, in many cases quite intentionally to make it difficult for people to vote.”

    Harris added, “What’s happening right now in Texas is, of course, a very clear and current example of that.”

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