The Senate is set to vote late Tuesday evening on a procedural vote on a sweeping voting rights bill election, a top priority for congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden, but it appears Republicans will succeed in blocking the ‘For the People Act’ moving forward.

Even with Democrats not having the 60 votes necessary to overcome a GOP filibuster in order to open debate on the revised version of the S.1 elections reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he’s holding the vote, so even if it fails as expected, it will show Americans that congressional Republicans are actively making it harder for people to vote.”

“It is spectacularly obvious that Republicans are making it harder to vote and easier to steal an election.  The big lie that started with Donald Trump is infecting them,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.  “Republicans across the country are trying to stop the other side from voting that tears, rips apart, the very fabric of our democracy.”

The legislation is a sweeping election reform law that seeks to expand voter access to ballots through automatic registration, increased absentee ballots and early voting, as well as broaden campaign finance disclosures, limit partisan gerrymandering and institute federally financed campaigns.

The key question for Senate Democrats is whether their entire caucus will unify in support of the bill.  Key Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, the lone holdout, has called for changes to the legislation, but he could support the procedural vote Tuesday to start debate and try to make changes to the bill.  Manchin wants to institute a more lenient form of voter ID, something Democrats have opposed in the past, as well as allow for some purging of voter rolls and make Election Day a federal holiday.

Manchin wrote, “Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants?  I have always said, ‘if I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’  And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), countered Schumer and his part, by accusing Democrats of trying to stage a takeover of the voting system and said Democrats have changed how they’re trying to justify robust voting reform.

“The arguments here have one big thing in common with the ones our colleagues have deployed against the filibuster: Debunked claims of racism,” McConnel said.  “African American turnout was twice as high in Mississippi.”
“At the end of the day which concocted crisis Democrats use as a justification for their top legislative priority doesn’t make much difference.  They’ve made it abundantly clear that the real driving force behind S.1 is a desire to rig the rules of American elections permanently in the Democrats’ favor.”

President Biden said of the bill earlier this month, “I’m going to fight like heck with every tool at my disposal for its passage,” in kicking off what he deemed a “month of action.”

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