UNITED STATES NEWS

Stymied by GOP, Senate mounts new push on voting rights bill

Oct 14, 2021, 6:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are set to try again to advance a sweeping elections and voting overhaul bill, testing objections from Republicans with a vote planned for next week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday.

In a letter to colleagues, Schumer, D-N.Y., said Republicans “must come to the table” to at least open debate on the bill. Weeks in the making, the new version was drafted in hopes of winning over support at a time when states continue mounting obstacles to voting.

If the Republican senators have ideas “on how to improve the legislation, we are prepared to hear them, debate them, and if they are in line with the goals of the legislation, include them in the bill,” Schumer said.

He challenged Republicans not to oppose the measure, blocking it with a filibuster, and “at the very least, vote to open debate.”

A test vote is expected next Wednesday.

Prospects appear dim for the Freedom to Vote Act, a revised effort by Democrats to advance one of their signature legislative efforts this year — protecting and enhancing the nation’s patchwork of state-run election systems. The push for an overhaul comes as Texas and other states are putting in place new voting laws that critics argue are a return to Jim Crow-style restrictions making it difficult to cast ballots, especially in Black and minority communities.

A key Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has led the effort to revise an earlier version of the bill that ran into stiff GOP opposition. He, too, had concerns with its scope. But it is doubtful Manchin’s effort on the now-scaled back bill will win over many Republican supporters.

In the evenly-split 50-50 Senate, Democrats hold only the most slim of majorities. Support from Republicans is needed to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill past the opposition.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has decried the entire effort as a federal takeover of state-run election systems.

In the works for weeks, the revised legislation includes many of the same provisions as the previous bill, known as the For the People Act.

It would establish national rules for running elections and includes provisions that would limit, but not prohibit, state voter ID requirements, which are being implemented in many states. Such changes in the bill were important to Manchin.

The new measure also scraps language that would have created a public financing system for federal elections — a key objection of Republicans, particularly McConnell.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

FILE - Singer Celine Dion performs during her Courage tour in Quebec City on Sept. 18, 2019. Dion h...
Associated Press

Celine Dion cancels shows because of stiff person syndrome

Celine Dion has put a halt on all performing after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. In an emotional video messages posted in French and English on Thursday on Instagram, Dion said stiff person syndrome was causing spasms that affect her ability to walk and sing. “Unfortunately, the spasms affect every aspect of my […]
2 days ago
Supporters hold up signs reading "Bring Brittney Home" during a rally to support the release of det...
KTAR.com

Arizona politicians react to news of Phoenix WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release

News of Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison was welcomed by political leaders in Arizona.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)...
Associated Press

House sends bill protecting same-sex, interracial marriages to Biden

The bill requires all states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity or national origin.”
2 days ago
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., departs after speak during a Congressional Gold Med...
Associated Press

Congress set to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military would be rescinded under the annual defense bill heading for a vote this week in Congress, ending a directive that helped ensure the vast majority of troops were vaccinated but also raised concerns that it harmed recruitment and retention. Republicans, emboldened by […]
3 days ago
FILE - Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...
Associated Press

Justices skeptical of elections case that could alter voting

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least six Supreme Court justices sound skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In arguments Wednesday, both liberal and conservative members of the high court appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a […]
3 days ago
Blue Bunny and Halo Top brand ice cream products are seen in Englewood, N.J., The Italian confectio...
Associated Press

Ferrero buys Blue Bunny ice cream maker Wells Enterprises

Italian confectioner Ferrero said Wednesday it is acquiring Wells Enterprises, one of the largest U.S. ice cream makers, in a deal that will broaden both companies’ offerings. Wells, a 100-year-old family-owned company based in Le Mars, Iowa, makes Blue Bunny, Halo Top and other brands. It employs 4,000 people and produces more than 200 million […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Stymied by GOP, Senate mounts new push on voting rights bill