What is the voting rights bill?01/11/2022
REPUBLICANS originally blocked the voting rights bill in June of 2021.
On January 11, 2022, President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Atlanta to talk once again about passing a new version of the bill.
What is the voting rights bill?
The Democrats introduced ambitious legislation that would usher in one of the largest federally mandated expansions of voting rights since the 1960s.
Known as the For the People Act, the bill is meant to change almost every aspect of how elections are conducted.
The bill is meant to ultimately build a new financial system for the people, and attempt to curb the influence of money in politics by limiting partisan influence.
Part of the reason for the Democrats introducing the bill is former President Donald Trump's actions of falsely claiming the election was rigged.
The Republicans blocked the bill on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, by using a legislative filibuster.
Failing to a 50-50 vote, many Republicans also referred to the bill as the "Screw the People Act."
Republicans believe that instating federal infringement on the state's authority to conduct their own elections will only benefit the Democratic Party.
What is the Freedom to Vote Act?
In September of 2021, the Democrats introduced a new version of the voting rights bill: the Freedom to Vote Act.
Within the Freedom to Vote Act are many similarities to the For the People Act: requiring states to allow same-day voter registration and the disclosure of dark-money donors.
Unlike the FTP Act, however, the Freedom to Vote Act would not give voters an alternative to showing an ID in states that require voter ID laws, and would not require nonpartisan redistricting commissions.
Would the bill end the legislative filibuster?
A legislative filibuster is among the more controversial topics between the two parties.
The filibuster is a Senate practice used to delay a proposed law from being brought to a vote. This is the second time it has been used since Joe Biden took office, the first time was by blocking the bipartisan commission investigating related to the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, addressed the media during a press conference regarding the tactic, prior to the bill being blocked.
"As it relates to the filibuster, I don't think you have to take it from us, that would be Congress moving forward — or making a decision. If the vote is unsuccessful tomorrow, we suspect it will prompt a new conversation about the path forward. And we'll see where that goes."
What did Joe Biden say in his speech on January 11, 2022?
On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are in Atlanta, speaking about voting rights and election reform.
Biden began his speech by talking about the insurrection at the US Capitol in January of 2021.
"In our lives – in the life of our nation – there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before and everything that followed," Biden said.
"They rip away the trivial from the essential, and they force us to confront hard truths about ourselves, about our institutions and about our democracy."
According to Biden, the insurrection of the Capitol was "one of those before and after moments in American history."
He went on to call out "Republican legislators in several states" who reportedly plan on passing new laws to restrict voting rights state-by-state.
"Their end game, to turn the will of the voters into a mere suggestion," Biden said.
"Something states can respect or ignore. Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion."
"The assault on our freedom to vote will be felt by every American in every community in every political party," added Harris.
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Biden went on to tell the crowd he supports changing Senate rules to fully eliminate the filibuster in order to pass voting rights legislation.
"Today, I'm making it clear to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights," the President stated.
"When it comes to protecting majority rule in America, the majority should rule in the United States Senate."
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