By The Financial District
Biden Wants Filibuster Axed To Pass Voting Rights Bill
President Biden endorsed eliminating the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, the most significant step he has taken to pressure lawmakers to act on the issue.
Photo Insert: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed GOP retaliation if Democrats change the filibuster.
Biden stopped short of calling for a full-scale elimination of the filibuster, a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to kill legislation that fails to garner 60 votes, the New York Times reported.
Both endeavors have slim chances of winning support from all 50 Senate Democrats, who are already facing threats of retaliation from Republicans in the chamber. Republicans have argued that Democrats are exaggerating the impact of new voting restrictions in Republican-led states in order to justify a blatant power grab.
Sen. Mitch McConnell insisted it is the Democrats who are suppressing rights, not the Republicans who are systematically hindering the exercise of suffrage by minorities.
“I believe that the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills,” Biden told a cheering audience in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prior to the announcement that Biden will support changing the filibuster, a coalition of voting rights groups said that the president shouldn’t come to Georgia unless he had a plan for passing voting protections through both houses of Congress, Chris Walker reported for Truthout.
Speaking on voting rights without a strategy to address the filibuster issue would be “an empty gesture,” the coalition said, adding that it would “reject any visit by President Biden that does not include an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan.”
Since the coalition released their statement, the president has prepared a speech about the need to change the filibuster in order to pass voting rights bills.
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