Democrats in the US Senate suffered a major jolt when determined Republicans stonewalled the much-discussed Election bill
The bill – which sought to make it easier for Americans to vote – ended up deadlocked 50-50 along party lines. The Democrats’ For the People Act passed the House of Representatives in March in a near party-line vote, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in opposing the bill. But 60 votes are needed in the 100-member Senate to advance most legislation, and the upper chamber is evenly split 50-50 between the two parties.
Advocates say the bill would have been the most far-reaching election measure since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It comes as Republican-led states advance proposals – which Mr. Biden has depicted as racially discriminatory – to tighten election laws. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, a Republican, has continued to peddle unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, BBC has reported.
After the voting, Prsident Biden said, “Today, Democrats in Congress unanimously came together to protect the sacred right to vote. In supporting the For the People Act and defending the rights of voters, they stood united for democracy. They stood against the ongoing assault of voter suppression that represents a Jim Crow era in the 21st Century.
Unfortunately, a Democratic stand to protect our democracy met a solid Republican wall of opposition. Senate Republicans opposed even a debate—even considering—legislation to protect the right to vote and our democracy.
It was the suppression of a bill to end voter suppression—another attack on voting rights that is sadly not unprecedented.
The creed “We Shall Overcome” is a longtime mainstay of the Civil Rights Movement. By coming together, Democrats took the next step forward in this continuous struggle—not just on Capitol Hill, but across the country—and a step forward to honor all those who came before us, people of all races and ages, who sacrificed and died to protect this sacred right.
I’ll have more to say on this next week. But let me be clear. This fight is far from over—far from over. I’ve been engaged in this work my whole career, and we are going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again—for the people, for our very democracy.”
VP Kamala Harris says:”When we cast a ballot, we not only decide our leaders. We determine our future.
The right to vote is fundamental. It gives Americans a voice in what happens in our nation—whether that is in our economy or our national security, our education system, or our healthcare system. When more people have a voice, our democracy becomes more representative, and our nation becomes stronger.
Today, across our nation, we are witnessing unprecedented attacks on voting rights. There are unjust bills in dozens of state legislatures that would limit early voting and vote by mail and otherwise make it harder for the American people to vote. Make no mistake: While these attacks are meant to silence some Americans, the impact is felt by all Americans.
At this critical moment, the United States Senate had a critical opportunity to make voting more accessible nationwide. The For The People Act has the broad support of the American people. Yet, as Senate Democrats united around the legislation, this afternoon, Senate Republicans voted against advancing it.
The President and I are undeterred, and I know the American people are as well. Like generations before, we will not give up, we will not give in, and we will continue the fight to strengthen the right to vote. We will fortify and expand the nationwide coalition on voting rights, and promote voter engagement and registration nationwide. We will lift up leaders in the states who are working to stop anti-voter legislation, and work with leaders in Congress to advance federal legislation that will strengthen voting rights.
I want to be clear that our Administration remains determined to work with Congress to pass the For The People Act, and we will keep working with Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Here is the bottom line: Our democracy is stronger when everyone participates—and it is weaker when people are denied meaningful access to participation. And that is why the right to vote is neither Democratic nor Republican. The right to vote is an American right.
It is our duty, at every opportunity, to protect and strengthen the right to vote.
Former US President Barack Obama on the bill had tweeted:
The Senate is preparing to take action on a bill that would strengthen our democracy, but Republican Senators are afraid to even debate it. This week, @EricHolder and I had a chance to talk with folks across the country about what’s at stake – and how we can make a difference. pic.twitter.com/ZxicbLJaPY
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 22, 2021
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