Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves The House Democrats passing a voting rights legislation.
House of Representatives passed a sweeping expansion of federal voting rights bill on Wednesday over unified Republican opposition, opening a new front in a raging national debate about elections aimed at countering G.O.P. attempts to clamp down on ballot access. The bill, adopted 220 to 210 along party lines, would constitute the most significant enhancement of federal voting protections since the 1960s if it became law. It aims to impose new national requirements weakening restrictive state voter ID laws, mandate automatic voter registration, expand early and mail-in voting, make it harder to purge voter rolls and restore voting rights to former felons changes that studies suggest would increase voter participation, especially by racial minorities.
The measure, which is supported by President Joe Biden, appears to be ruined for now in the Senate, where Republican opposition would make it all but impossible to draw the 60 votes needed to advance. Democratic leaders have vowed to put it up for a vote anyway, and progressives were already plotting to use Republican obstruction of the bill to build their case for jettisoning the legislative filibuster in the months ahead.
The vote was a bid by Democrats to beat back Republican efforts in statehouses across the country to enact new barriers of voting that would consolidate power for the Republican Party amid false claims of rampant election fraud heralded by former President Donald Trump and many of his allies in Congress.
The 791 page bill would also eliminate partisan gerrymandering, impose new transparency on dark money used to finance campaigns, tighten government ethics standards and create a public financing option for congressional campaigns.
On Tuesday the conservative dominated Supreme Court signaled that is was going to uphold and potentially chip away further at the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A 2013 ruling by the justices struck down key enforcement provisions in the law and helped pave the way for the success of many Republican led states in putting in place new rules.
Final consideration of the voting bill took place after the House passed another bill, a major policing bill aimed at combating racial discrimination and excessive use of force in law enforcement. Lawmakers first passed the legislation last summer, in an effort to respond to an outpouring of demands for racial justice after the killings of Black Americans across the country, but then, like now, it faced opposition among Republicans proposing more modest changes. The vote was 220 to 212, largely along party lines. House Democrats and Senate Republicans with competing bills were expected to restart talks next week in an attempt to sort out disagreements over Democrats proposed restrictions on the use of deadly force and changes to make it easier to prosecute police officers for wrongdoing. But there was little optimism for an immediate breakthrough. H.R. 1’s voting provisions were originally drafted by Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon who died last year.