Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Rights Bill on 50 50 Vote

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Rights Bill on 50 50 Vote” – below is their description.

Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ expansive overhaul of U.S. election laws from advancing to the chamber floor, dealing the Democratic majority a defeat on a chief 2020 campaign promise and underscoring their limited power in a chamber evenly split between the two political parties.

The bill failed to advance on a 50-50 party-line vote, short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia made a last-minute decision to side with his party, providing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sought-after Democratic unity after weeks of negotiations with him.

The showdown with Republicans is again putting the spotlight on the chamber’s filibuster rule. The GOP move against voting rights legislation will be used by Democratic leaders to make a case for changing getting rid of or changing filibuster, which allows a minority of just 41 senators to thwart most legislation.

Democrats renewed their attempt to pass the legislation after gaining control of both chambers of Congress and as some GOP-controlled states have imposed new voting rules, egged on by former President Donald Trump’s repeated false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. There have been 389 bills with restrictive provisions introduced in 48 states by mid-May, and 22 had been enacted, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

“Republicans across the country are deliberately targeting all the ways that younger, poorer, nonwhite and typically Democratic voters access the ballot,” Schumer said Tuesday on the Senate floor before the vote. “Republicans claim they are making it easier to vote and harder to cheat in an election. In reality, they are making it harder to vote and easier to cheat in an election.”

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said the bill is largely a package of long-standing ideas by Democrats designed to reshape election law to their own advantage, and is hardly a case for changing the chamber’s filibuster rules.

“Whatever label Democrats slap on the bill, the substance remains the same: It’s always been a plan to rewrite the ground rules of American politics,” McConnell said.

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