Republicans Halt Voting Bills in Senate

Republicans Halt Voting Bills in Senate

( – The Democrats appear to want to move forward with their legislative agenda despite recent failures. While the demise of the Build Back Better Act was a huge loss, they are now looking for any method possible to get their voting rights bills passed.

On January 19, the Senate blocked the Democrats’ two election bills. The vote was 48 to 52, with Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Krysten Sinema (AZ) siding with the GOP.

The voting rights legislation included the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Both bills sought to increase federal oversight of elections while also blocking many new election laws passed since the 2020 election in states with Republican governors.

Democrats argue that changes are necessary to ensure fairness at the polls and to allow every citizen the chance to vote. Republicans believe the changes would introduce fraud and make elections favor the Democratic Party.

The loss led Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to suggest a rules change. He wanted to reinstitute the talking filibuster. This modification to the long-standing Senate procedure would involve continuous talking to stop the final passage of the bills. However, Sinema and Manchin have been passionate about not altering the Senate rules, and without their support, the Democrats failed again.

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