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Tags: biden | speech | gop | voting laws

Biden Speech to Attack 'Un-American' GOP Voting Laws

joe biden sits in meeting in roosevelt room
President Joe Biden hosts a meeting about reducing gun violence in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on July 12, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 July 2021 10:05 AM EDT

President Joe Biden will attack updated voting rights laws on Tuesday and call for a "new coalition" to fight Republican-led election reforms.

In what has been promoted as a major speech, Biden will discuss voting rights amid pressure from civil rights activists and progressives to use new tactics in combating new voting laws around the country.

States such as Florida, Georgia, and Iowa have implemented voting laws addressing such issues as voter ID and mail-in ballots to try and ensure the validity and integrity of elections.

Progressives insist the new laws are racist and make it harder for minorities to vote. They want the Senate to end the filibuster procedure so Democrats can pass voting legislation in a chamber evenly divided along party lines.

Biden, who’ll speak from Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, will call for a "new coalition" of advocates, activists, and business leaders "to overcome this un-American trend and meet the moment" through "turnout and voter education," a White House official told Politico.

The source told Politico that Biden, "in no uncertain terms," will say that new laws in Republican-led states "are the most significant threat today to the integrity of our elections, and to the security of the right to vote for people of all races and backgrounds."

Politico reported Biden's rhetoric will include talking about the nation's history of voter suppression including KKK campaigns of terror, poll taxes, and literacy tests, according to the White House official.

Biden again will call on Congress to pass the Democrats’ sweeping elections legislation, and another bill restoring key provisions under the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were removed by a 2013 Supreme Court decision. The official told Politico that the president will say the work is "only beginning" to pass those two bills.

Biden also will mention his executive order to direct federal resources toward voter education and ballot access, and the Justice Department's expansion of its Civil Rights Division, according to Politico.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s speech during her Monday briefing.

"He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing," Psaki said. "And how he will use — he will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws."

Some Democrat lawmakers want Biden to do more in trying to remove the Republicans’ right to filibuster and end debate.

"I'm sure that President Biden could be influential but he'll have to make that decision," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., according Politico. "I hope that he'll do everything possible."

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., recently told Politico that Biden "should endorse" a change to the filibuster and use his power to strong arm Senate Democrats, such as moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

"[Biden could] pick up the phone and tell Joe Manchin, 'Hey, we should do a carve out,'" Clyburn told Politico. "I don't care whether he does it in a microphone or on the telephone — just do it."

Psaki rejected Clyburn’s suggestion.

"Determination about making changes will be made by members of the Senate, not by this president or any president, frankly, moving forward," Psaki said.

"If it were waving a magic wand to get voting rights legislation on his desk through any means, [Biden] would do that. But it requires the majority of members in the Senate to support changes to the filibuster.

"What he can do as President is to continue to lift up, elevate, advocate, engage, [and] empower people across the country. That's the most instructive role he can play.”

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President Joe Biden will attack updated voting rights laws on Tuesday and call for a "new coalition" to fight Republican-led election reforms. In what has been promoted as a major speech, Biden will discuss...
biden, speech, gop, voting laws
Tuesday, 13 July 2021 10:05 AM
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