President Biden on Wednesday blasted Senate Republicans who are expected to block another Democratic bill that would dramatically overhaul federal elections.
“Today, Senate Democrats would like to start debate on the Freedom to Vote Act. Senate Democrats have worked hard to ensure this bill includes traditionally bipartisan provisions. But Senate Republicans are likely to block even debate on the bill, as they have before on previous voting rights bills. It’s unconscionable,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.
“The right to vote – to vote freely, to vote fairly, and to have your vote counted – is fundamental. It should be simple and straightforward. Let there be a debate and let there be a vote,” the statement continued.
Democrats say the bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, is necessary to counter a slew of bills in Republican-controlled state legislatures aimed at tightening voting requirements.
The state bills, according to the Democrats, make it more difficult for people to vote, especially Blacks and Hispanics.
Republicans call the bill a way for Washington Democrats to put their thumbs on the scale, handing control of elections to the federal government and making election-integrity issues like voter ID subject to the whims of bureaucrats.
Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell has called the bill a far-left power grab. The GOP opposition will send the bill to a near-certain defeat amid Democrats’ slim majority in the Senate.
The bill would establish Election Day as a national holiday, establish national standards for early voting and voting by mail, and require new standards for voter identification.