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[BREAKING] United On Filibuster, Republicans Block Voting Rights Bill

[BREAKING] United On Filibuster, Republicans Block Voting Rights Bill

Republicans don’t want us to have nice things, like equal voting rights.

The GOP minority once again blocked the Democratic majority on Tuesday, as they filibustered debate on voting rights legislation, putting Democrats in a predicament about how to advance the high-priority bill. The vote to advance an amended version of the For The People Act split along party lines 50-50, short of the 60 needed. All Democrats voted to begin debate and Republicans unanimously voting to block the bill.

LANSING, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 02: A voter fills out her ballot on the last day of early voting at the Lansing City Clerk’s office on November 02, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. In 2016 U.S. President Donald Trump narrowly won Michigan, which is now a main battleground state. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Democrats have been facing renewed pressure from their base to abolish the filibuster to push the bill through, but they don’t currently have the votes to do that. Manchin remains opposed to nuking the 60-vote rule, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) reiterated her support for the super-majority threshold to pass bills in an opinion piece published Monday.

Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bill an effort to respond to restrictive voting laws in GOP-led states like Georgia and said the procedural vote was simply to allow debate and an amendment process that will shape the eventual bill.

“They don’t even want to debate it because they’re afraid. They want to deny the right to vote, make it harder to vote for so many Americans, and they don’t want to talk about it,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday. “There is a rot — a rot — at the center of the modern Republican party. Donald Trump’s big lie has spread like a cancer and threatens to envelop one of America’s major political parties.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been tasked by the White House to work on voting rights, presided over the Tuesday debate in the Senate.

The legislation is cosponsored by 49 Democratic members of the Senate. The one holdout, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), said Tuesday he’d vote to begin debate after receiving assurances that the Senate would consider a compromise version that he has said he can support.

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“We’ll keep talking,” Manchin said after the vote. “You can’t give up. You really can’t.”

Former President Barack Obama said Monday it was “not acceptable” for Republicans to block debate on the For The People Act “in the aftermath of an insurrection, with our democracy on the line.

[This is a breaking and developing story, please check back for updates]

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