WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Although the effort appears doomed to fail, Senate Democrats will force a series of votes on federal voting rights legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Democrats won’t stop trying to pass federal voting rights legislation even if it means changing the Senate rules.
If that happens, Democrats could, in theory, pass the legislation with a simple majority. However, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) says he does not support circumventing the filibuster with fewer than 60 votes.
“The United States Senate has never in 233 years been able to end debate on legislation with a simple majority vote,” Manchin said.
The two voting rights bills in consideration would increase access to the ballot box by expanding early and mail-in voting, making election day a holiday and allowing for more flexible voter ID laws.
The proposals would also require some states to get approval from the Department of Justice to change their voting laws.
Democrats say changes are needed at the federal level because Republican-controlled states have passed a string of laws to make voting harder since the 2020 election.
“They’ve been consumed by a fake panic over election laws that seems to exist only in their own imaginations,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
He says federal election reform is unnecessary and unpopular.
“More Americans believe current voting laws are too lax,” McConnell said.
Republicans say states have the right to make their elections more secure.