Controversial voting bill likely faces Senate filibuster

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Controversial voting bill likely faces Senate filibuster

(The Center Square) - A new Democrat-led elections bill appears to be headed toward a filibuster in the Senate Tuesday.

The controversial bill, titled the “For the People Act,” intends to federalize several aspects of elections, including making procedures such as mail-in voting and same-day voter registration for federal elections available nationwide. The bill also looks to take away the power for state governments to determine their congressional redistricting and give that power to independent commissions.

The bill is expected to have the support of all 50 Democratic senators, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., but will likely not reach the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster by Republicans senators. No Republicans are expected to vote in favor of pushing the bill forward.

Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., who have both expressed hesitancy over supporting the bill are expected to vote in favor of advancing it. Both senators have also stated repeatedly they would be opposed to getting rid of the filibuster, which would allow a bill to pass through the Senate with a simple majority instead of the current 60-vote threshold.

Senator majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Manchin’s support for the bill in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“I'm pleased to report that Senator Manchin and I have come to an agreement,” Schumer said. “He came to my office about two hours ago and we worked it out.”

Schumer had negotiated amendments to S.1 with Manchin, in exchange for his support of the bill. Manchin expressed confidence in these amendments, such as provisions for voter identification, and dismay in the reluctance of Republicans in a statement announcing his support of the bill.

“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues refused to allow debate of this legislation despite the reasonable changes made to focus the bill on the core issues facing our democracy,” Manchin said.

Republicans and conservative groups have blasted the bill, and its House counterpart HR.1, as an attempt to take away the rights of local governments to determine their election procedures. Despite amendments proposed by Manchin, Republicans and conservative groups remain strongly opposed to the bill.

In a press release opposing the bill, Heritage Action for America attacked the overreach of the federal government with the proposed provisions in the act.

“This massive bill is filled with unconstitutional policies that would make our elections less secure, hijack America’s election processes, and destroy Americans’ faith in voting,” said Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of Heritage Action.

In a statement, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expressed his opposition to the revised version of the “For the People Act” with amendments by Manchin.

“We’re talking about fundamentally the same bill,” McConnell said. “And one thing’s for certain: ‘major overhaul’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. The same awful guts are all in there: There’s the plan to forcibly rewrite large portions of the 50 states’ respective election laws.”

The White House has expressed its support for the bill and has said it will not back down from the fight over voting laws.

“This fight is not over, no matter the outcome,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary at a press briefing Tuesday.

* This article was originally published here

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