Senate Democrats push to pass voting rights bills by Christmas

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats are renewing their call to pass voting rights legislation before heading home for the holidays. The trouble is not every Democrat is on board.

“We must deal with this issue now,” Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., said. “The judgment of history is upon us.”

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Warnock said Democrats should change Senate rules to get the job done without Republicans.

“We’ve decided we can do it for the economy but not for the democracy,” Warnock said. “How do we in good conscious justify doing one without the other?”

With President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan likely stalled until the New Year, a growing number of Democrats are backing Warnock’s call to tackle voting rights now.

“I’m completely inspired by and agree with what he said,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

“If we don’t modify the filibuster to modify voting rights then we’re going to lose Democracy,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said federal legislation is needed to combat a wave of new state voting rules as Michigan is “one of the states where that’s playing out in real time.”

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voiced his support but stopped short of endorsing the new timeline.

“There is universal consensus in our caucus that we need to pass legislation,” Schumer said.

The problem is, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he will only support a bipartisan effort. This renewed push comes after Senate Republicans have already struck down voting rights legislation three times this year, and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said its for good reason.

“It’s a federal takeover bill and it’s a democrat party protection bill,” Hawley said.

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