- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2022

President Biden on Tuesday plans to tell Americans he “will not flinch” in supporting Senate Democrats’ moves to blow up the chamber’s filibuster rules to pass a partisan overhaul of election laws.

Speaking in Atlanta, Mr. Biden will push for passage of Democratic bills that he says are necessary to uphold democracy in GOP-run states.

“The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation,” according to excerpts of the speech Mr. Biden plans to deliver in Georgia. “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice?  I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is where will the institution of United States Senate stand?”

Republicans have offered to work on a compromise deal but Mr. Biden is pushing for the Democratic package, which the GOP views as nationalization of elections and a partisan power grab at the ballot box.

Mr. Biden will deliver his speech at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer is eyeing MLK Day as the deadline for passing election bills.

Lack of Republican support dooms the bills in the Senate unless Democrats muster enough support to blow up the filibuster rule and force the legislation through in party-line votes, making Mr. Biden’s support key after the White House was coy about rule changes in the past.

Mr. Biden will be making the case for passing the Democrats’ Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Act.

The Freedom to Vote Act mandates that states offer same-day voter registration as well as automatic voter registration at local departments of motor vehicles. It also creates a taxpayer-backed public-financing system for House elections and imposes new restrictions on the ability of states to draw their electoral districts.

The John Lewis Voting Act would grant the Justice Department sweeping new powers to oversee state elections. In some cases, according to the bill, states would even have to secure the DOJ’s approval before implementing new voting laws.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, has warned Democrats not to blow up Senate rules to pass a “sweeping takeover of our democracy.”

• Haris Alic and Kery Murakami contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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