Schumer, McConnell Duel Over Democrats’ Elections Bill to Expand Voting Access

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Schumer, McConnell Duel Over Democrats’ Elections Bill to Expand Voting Access” – below is their description.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP leader Mitch McConnell made rare appearances at a committee hearing Tuesday to lead their parties’ battle over sweeping Democratic legislation to expand voting access.

    The bill, S. 1, is a high priority for Democrats in the face of efforts by Republican-dominated state legislatures — spurred in part by former President Donald Trump’s false claims about fraud in the 2020 election — to enact ballot restrictions, and the presence of the two Senate leaders at a Rules Committee hearing indicates the stakes.

    “Let’s call it what it is,” McConnell said at the Senate Rules Committee hearing on the legislation. “Put aside the flowery language. This is a partisan effort to take over how you do — how you conduct elections in our country.”

    The legislation would set national standards for election laws, including no-excuse mail-in voting and automatic voter registration, require additional campaign finance disclosures and impose new ethics provisions for all three branches of federal government, among other changes.

    Since the 2020 election, more than 360 bills in at least 47 states have been introduced to restrict voting access according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan think tank.

    “Here in the 21st century we are witnessing an attempt at the greatest contraction of voting rights since the end of reconstruction and the beginning of Jim crow,” Schumer said. “All across the country Republicans no longer want to let the voters pick their politicians. They want to let politicians pick their voters.”

    Schumer said that he would put S.1 on the Senate floor, but it has not yet been scheduled for a vote. With Republicans uniformly opposed and some Democrats raising concerns about the sweep of the legislation, the bill faces long odds in the Senate. The Democratic-controlled House has already passed its version of the bill.

    Schumer and McConnell are members of the Rules Committee but as their parties leaders in the Senate they rarely take part in the panel’s debate.

    A so-called manager’s amendment from Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar that would make several changes to the bill intended to address feedback from Republicans and state election officials failed on a 9-9 vote.

    Supporters of the legislation, named the For the People Act, are pressing to use the bill as a spark for Democrats to do away with the Senate’s filibuster rule, which allows the minority party to block most legislation by requiring a 60 votes to allow debate to go forward. But Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they oppose getting rid of the rule.

    The filibuster has been used in the Senate before to delay legislation on voting and civil rights. The procedural hurdle was used to delay the votes on the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act 1964, among other measures.

    “The way the filibuster is used to block civil rights bills is an ever present reminder that our country cares more about a Jim Crow relic than about people who look like me,” said Mondale Robinson, founder of the Black Male Voter Project, an organization that works to get more black men to vote. “Congress must make no mistake: White supremacy is the filibuster’s past, present and future.”

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    In This Story: Democrats

    “Democrats” usually refers to the The Democratic Party of the United States – one of the two major political parties in the country, along with its main, historic rival, the Republican Party.

    It was founded on 8th January 1828 and has its contemporary headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States. The present leadership is Nancy Pelosi (Party leader) and Jaime Harrison (Party chair).

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  • In This Story: Republicans

    The Republican Party, sometimes also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main, historic rival, the Democratic Party.

    It was founded on 20th March 1854 and has its contemporary headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States. The present leadership is Ronna McDaniel (chairwoman).

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