Nicholas Fondos at The New York Times details Republican opposition to voting rights and what we can expect in today’s key vote regarding the For The People Act:
A push by Democrats to enact the most expansive voting rights legislation in generations is set to collapse in the Senate on Tuesday, when Republicans are expected to use a filibuster to block a measure that President Biden and his allies in Congress have called a vital step to protect democracy.
Despite solid Republican opposition, Democrats plan to bring the voting rights fight to a head on the Senate floor, by calling a test vote to try to advance the broad federal elections overhaul, known as the For the People Act. As Republican-led states rush to enact restrictive new voting laws, Democrats have presented the legislation as the party’s best chance to undo them, expand ballot access from coast to coast and limit the effect of special interests on the political process.
At The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck describe the Democrats’ strategy:
Liberal activists and Democratic lawmakers are angling to use a planned Senate vote Tuesday on broad legislation to overhaul election access, campaign finance and government ethics — which is expected to fail because of solid Republican opposition — as an inflection point in a major last-ditch push to change Senate rules and pass voting rights legislation before the end of the summer. [...]
But top party leaders are betting that a show of firm GOP intransigence in Tuesday afternoon’s procedural vote will prompt movement among the handful of wary Democrats. In a fiery floor speech Monday that served, in part, as a veiled appeal to members of his own caucus, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) hammered the point that Republicans were threatening to block even a discussion of voting rights. [...]
The rhetorical point is aimed at the likes of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who was a lone holdout among Democrats in endorsing the sweeping For the People Act, which passed the House in February, and has consistently opposed eliminating the filibuster to pass any legislation on party lines. It is also aimed at a broader group of Democrats, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who support the House-passed legislation but have opposed changing Senate rules to pass it. Advocacy groups, meanwhile, are preparing to launch a flurry of efforts aimed at convincing those senators to drop their objections to counter the succession of state laws, which have overwhelmingly passed on party lines. They are hoping to force the Senate to revise the filibuster and pass a voting bill before the chamber breaks for its traditional August recess, giving states time to implement it before the 2022 midterms.
It is telling that the argument Republicans most often make against proposals such as Mr. Manchin’s is not that early voting and voter notifications are bad ideas, but that setting election rules is the states’ job, not the federal government’s. They are wrong, according to the plain text of the Constitution, which expressly gives Congress power over federal elections. But the consequence of congressional inaction is to enable Republican state leaders to continue stacking election rules against Democrats, limiting access to the ballot box and manipulating voting maps to obtain illegitimate partisan advantage. [...]
Mr. Manchin’s reforms deserve a full hearing and an up-or-down vote. If his proposal does not get its due, Democrats should consider reforming the filibuster. There is no shortage of ideas about how to adjust the procedural maneuver without abolishing it, such as demanding that minority senators show up to sustain their filibusters; requiring three-fifths of present and voting senators to end a filibuster, rather than three-fifths of all senators; or reducing the number of votes needed to overcome filibusters. These are just a few possibilities.
On a final note, don’t miss Virginia Heffernan on Donald Trump’s continued attempts to overturn the results of the election:
Pure insanity is all this is, and yet the House Oversight Committee’s documents are also a chilling reminder of how determined Trump was to be king, and how committed he was to a coup—the slow-rolling, bloodless, white-collar kind, or the violent kind that took place just five days after Rosen finally shut down Meadows. Reading this stuff over, I recall nothing more than the sublime parody of the Gore-Lieberman campaign logo that popped up in Florida in late 2000 when Bush v. Gore was at the Supreme Court: “Sore-Loserman.”