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Senate GOP Blocks Voting Legislation Yet Again, Uniting Over Another Filibuster

Senate GOP Blocks Voting Legislation Yet Again, Uniting Over Another Filibuster

Nearly 10 months into President Joe Biden’s term, Democrats have not been able to advance any legislation due to Republican filibustering. Senate Republicans did it again on Wednesday, blocking a major voting bill that would have allowed automatic same-day voter registration and made Election Day a holiday. The Freedom to Vote Act would also give states flexibility in implementing some provisions like early voting, while offering protection from federal election records and securing nonpartisan state and local election officials from outside interference. The measure had the support of all 50 caucusing Democrats on Wednesday after the party scaled back an earlier, more expansive bill to win the backing of centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

A Senate vote in June to advance the broader For The People Act voting rights bill was split 50-50 along party lines, falling short of the 60 needed to advance. All 50 Democrats supported the new bill, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) changed his vote to “no” in order to allow him to request another vote in the future, a common procedural maneuver. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said his party would oppose the measure. “It is my hope and anticipation that none of us will vote for this latest iteration of Democratic efforts to take over how every American votes all over the country,” he said on Tuesday.

McConnell’s prediction came true. Despite the Democratic majority, the 49-51 vote on the procedural motion was once again short of the 60 needed to advance the legislation to the next stage, marking the second time this year Republicans have prevented a Democratic-backed voting bill from moving forward.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Republican who has been most willing to engage with Democrats on voting rights, explained her vote to block the bill earlier, saying she was more interested in the House-passed John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Angry Twitter users once again took the opportunity to demand that Congress abolish the filibuster once and for all.

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