President Biden will lay out the “moral case” for protecting voting rights when he delivers a much-anticipated speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Mr. Biden’s speech comes after Senate Republicans stopped a sweeping Democratic voting rights bill that would overhaul elections and after a Supreme Court ruling that limited the ability of people of color to challenge state laws viewed as discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act.
The speech also comes after Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris last week met behind closed doors with civil rights leaders. Those leaders implored the president to address Republican voting bills. The civil rights leaders said that those bills restrict people of color’s right to vote.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing,” Ms. Psaki said at a White House press briefing.
“He’ll also decry efforts to restrict the right to vote as authoritative and anti-American and stand up to the notion that politicians should be allowed to choose their votes or support our system by replacing independent election authorities with partisan ones,” she continued.
Ms. Psaki ticked off a few of the topics that the president will touch upon, including pushing back against baseless claims by former President Donald Trump that there was widespread vote fraud during last year’s presidential election.
Democrats have derisively labeled Mr. Trump’s claims as “the big lie.”
“He’ll lay out the greatest irony of the big lie is that no election in our history has had such a high standard with over 80 judges, including those appointed by his predecessor, throwing out all challenges,” she said at a White House press briefing.
Still, it’s unclear what Mr. Biden can do to prevent states from enacting voting laws, though that goal remains a major focus for the administration.
The evenly split Senate makes it hard for any Democratic proposal to survive Republican opposition and Mr. Biden has stopped short of calling for the elimination of the filibuster or other rule changes to make it easier to pass his agenda.
Ms. Psaki said that the president was determined to make voting rights the fight of his administration.
“He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental rights of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws,” she said.