Biden ‘profoundly disappointed’ by voting rights bill failure
Washington, Jan 19 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he was “profoundly disappointed” by the failure of the Senate to pass a voting protections bill that supporters viewed as crucial for protecting democracy in the country.
“I am profoundly disappointed that the Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed – but I am not deterred,” the president wrote on Twitter.
Biden promised that he would “continue to advance necessary legislation and push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote.”
His big electoral reform floundered Wednesday in the Senate due to the unanimous blockade of all 50 of the Republican opposition members and divisions within his own party.
First, the Republicans refused to debate Biden’s electoral reform using a maneuver called filibustering, which requires a minimum of 60 votes to advance legislation to a final vote.
Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed a change to reduce the power of filibustering and get the measure debated. However, as predicted, he failed to gather the support he needed among his ranks.
Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined the Republicans 52-48 in voting to keep the filibuster rules.
The Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act bill, which was approved in the Lower House, would have guaranteed the right to 15 days early voting, online voter registration and voting by mail, in addition to establishing election day as a national holiday, which could increase participation since the US. The US always holds elections on a weekday Tuesday in November.
It also would have protected local election officials from partisan interference and curbed gerrymandering, and would have allowed the Justice Department to monitor changes to election laws in states that have a history of discriminating against racial minorities.
The Republican blockade and the internal differences between the Democrats are a setback for Biden, who on Thursday marks one year in the White House. EFE