facebook linkedin twitter

Schumer Vows to Quickly Advance Next Voting Rights Bill to Senate Floor

October 21, 2021 by Dan McCue
Schumer Vows to Quickly Advance Next Voting Rights Bill to Senate Floor
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., leaves a Senate Democratic meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, as a showdown looms with Republicans over raising the debt limit. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON –  Less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’ll advance another voting rights bill to the floor of the chamber as early as next week.

However, he did not say whether he also intends to do away with the filibuster, the Senate procedure that has enabled opponents of the voting measures to block their passage.

With the filibuster in place, the Democrats have to secure 10 Republican votes to pass legislation. 

Without it, the Democrats could pass the next voting measure, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, by a simple majority vote.

“Yesterday this chamber had an opportunity to begin debate on protecting the voting rights of American citizens,” Sen. Schumer said in floor remarks Thursday morning. “That right—essential to any democracy—is under attack in ways we have not seen in generations.

“Despite the obvious danger, Senate Republicans crushed any opportunity this chamber had to even begin a debate on the Freedom to Vote Act,” he continued.

“We didn’t ask Republicans to sign their names to any policy; we simply asked them to come to the table so the Senate can work as intended. And they refused,” Schumer added, calling the resistance across the aisle an “implicit endorsement” of the “horrid new voter suppression and election subversion laws passed in conservative states across the country.”

“But despite Republican opposition, the fight to protect our democracy is far from over in the United States Senate. Voting rights are too precious, too fundamental to abandon because of obstruction from the minority,” he said.

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder

Among the invalidated provisions was an enforcement mechanism that prevented states from making changes to voting laws and practices if they have a history of voting discrimination, unless they clear those changes through federal officials.

In Shelby, the Supreme Court ruled that the formula for deciding which states and localities have a history of voting discrimination (and were therefore required to pre-approve changes in voting laws and practices) was outdated and therefore unconstitutional. 

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would modernize the formula determining which states and localities have a pattern of discrimination; it would require election officials to publicly announce all changes to voting rules or election procedures at least 180 days before an election; and it would expand the government’s authority to send federal observers to any jurisdiction where there may be a substantial risk of discrimination at the polls on Election Day or during an early voting period.

The bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., on Aug. 17, 2021, and it passed the House on a party line vote of 219-212 just days later.

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., earlier this month.

“The question now before the Senate is how we will find a path forward on protecting our freedoms in the 21st century,” Schumer said.

“The members of this chamber can take inspiration from great patriots of the past who put country over party. Or they can cross their arms and watch as our 240 year old experiment in democracy falls prey to the specters of authoritarian control,” he concluded.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Political News

January 26, 2022
by Dan McCue
Pelosi to Seek Reelection Despite Risk of Losing House Majority

WASHINGTON — After weeks of writing farewells for House Democrats who’ve decided to forego bids for reelection, House Speaker Nancy... Read More

WASHINGTON — After weeks of writing farewells for House Democrats who’ve decided to forego bids for reelection, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she has no plans of joining them in retirement. “While we have made progress, much more needs to be done to improve... Read More

January 26, 2022
by Dan McCue
House Democrats Release Mammoth Plan for Boosting Competition With China

WASHINGTON — House Democrats late Tuesday night released the America COMPETES Act, a mammoth, 2912-page bill aimed at boosting high... Read More

WASHINGTON — House Democrats late Tuesday night released the America COMPETES Act, a mammoth, 2912-page bill aimed at boosting high tech research and ending, once and for all, the semiconductor crisis that has caused rippling supply chain disruptions and put a serious, if temporary, crimp on... Read More

January 26, 2022
by Dan McCue
Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire From Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Justice Stephen Breyer, a pragmatic liberal who has served on the Supreme Court for nearly 28 years, is... Read More

WASHINGTON — Justice Stephen Breyer, a pragmatic liberal who has served on the Supreme Court for nearly 28 years, is expected to inform the White House today that he plans to step down at the end of this term. Pete Williams of NBC News was the... Read More

January 26, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
HHS Awards Grants to Help Reduce Health Care Provider Burnout

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded $103 million... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, awarded $103 million in American Rescue Plan Funds to 45 grantees to help reduce health care provider burnout and promote mental health and wellness among the health care workforce.... Read More

January 25, 2022
by Dan McCue
US to Keep Europe Energized If Putin Pulls Plug

WASHINGTON — If Russian President Vladimir Putin chooses to “weaponize” the oil and gas he currently supplies to Europe, the... Read More

WASHINGTON — If Russian President Vladimir Putin chooses to “weaponize” the oil and gas he currently supplies to Europe, the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are prepared to make up a significant amount of the energy shortfall, a senior... Read More

January 25, 2022
by Reece Nations
FBI Raid May Complicate Cuellar’s Bid for Reelection

LAREDO, Texas — Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, is entangled in an FBI investigation stemming from his ties to the Republic... Read More

LAREDO, Texas — Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, is entangled in an FBI investigation stemming from his ties to the Republic of Azerbaijan ahead of a tightly contested March 1 primary election. It is unclear at this time whether Cuellar and his wife are direct targets of... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top