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Tags: voting

Biden to Meet Senate Democrats to Discuss Voting Reforms

Biden to Meet Senate Democrats to Discuss Voting Reforms
President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing the Senate filibuster rules, at Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University Tuesday in Atlanta. (AP)

Wednesday, 12 January 2022 03:19 PM

President Joe Biden is to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to discuss voting reform proposals and changing the rules of the chamber to sidestep Republican opposition.

Biden will attend the Senate Democratic Caucus lunch to discuss the "urgent need to pass legislation to protect the constitutional right to vote," the White House said.

The president will "again underline that doing so requires changing the rules of the Senate to make the institution work again," it said.

Biden, in a speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, called for a break in the Senate's supermajority rule so Democrats can override Republican opposition to voting legislation that he called crucial to saving democracy.

The president challenged Democrats in the Senate to stand up for two bills already passed by the Democratic-majority House of Representatives that would expand access to the polls and prevent practices that he said are being used to suppress Black and other Democratic-leaning voters.

The 50 Democrats in the 100-member Senate support the two bills but under the current supermajority requirement, 60 votes are needed to bring them to the floor.

If Republicans don't cooperate then the supermajority requirement, called the filibuster, should be tossed to get the voting rights acts through, Biden said.

"We have no option but to change the Senate rules including getting rid of the filibuster for this," he said.

Democrats accuse Republican state legislatures of enacting a spate of laws deliberately restricting the voting rights of minorities and curtailing early voting and mail-in voting in an effort to suppress Democratic support.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the idea of suspending the filibuster for voting rights reforms.

"The president's rant yesterday was incorrect, incoherent and beneath his office," McConnell said, calling it "pure demagoguery."

Republicans warn that a supposedly one-off maneuver could open the floodgates to lifting the filibuster on all sorts of issues, thereby ending any semblance of bipartisanship in the chamber.

The move needs unanimous Democratic support to happen -- and that's far from assured, with at least two of the more conservative Democratic senators -- Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- clearly skeptical.

Manchin and Sinema will be the two senators Biden will be seeking to persuade at Thursday's Senate lunch.

© AFP 2022


Newsfront
President Joe Biden is to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to discuss voting reform proposals and changing the rules of the chamber to sidestep Republican opposition.Biden will attend the Senate Democratic Caucus lunch to discuss the "urgent need to pass legislation...
voting
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2022-19-12
Wednesday, 12 January 2022 03:19 PM
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