Biden Calls On Senate To Bypass Filibuster Rule To Pass Voting Rights Bills

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President Joe Biden called on the Senate to change its filibuster rules to pass voting rights bills.

"Today, I'm making it clear, in order to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights," Biden said in a speech on Protecting the Right to Vote at Atlanta University Center Consortium Tuesday.

Biden's speech came as the Senate is scheduled to vote this week on two bills - the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act - that envisage a sweeping change to the U.S. federal voting rights laws.

The Senate filibuster rules, which require 60 votes to end debate on legislation, have previously stalled passage of voting rights laws.

"I've been having these quiet conversations with the members of Congress for the last two months. I'm tired of being quiet," Biden said in an emotional speech.

Biden said, "Passing the Freedom to Vote Act would prevent voter suppression so that here in Georgia there's full access to voting by mail, there are enough drop boxes during enough hours so that you can bring food and water as well to people waiting in line".

"The Freedom to Vote Act takes on election subversion to protect nonpartisan election officials, who are doing their job, from intimidation and interference."

"It would get dark money out of politics, create fairer district maps and ending partisan gerrymandering."

In Biden's opinion, restoring the Voting Rights Act would mean the Justice Department can stop discriminatory laws before they go into effect.

The Democrat leader made an appeal to his Republican colleagues to restore the bipartisan tradition of voting rights.

"The people who restored it, who abided by it in the past were Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush. They all supported the Voting Rights Act," he recalled.

Biden referred to irregularities in the last presidential election, perpetrated by his opponent Donald Trump.

He accused the former president and allies of pursuing, threatening, and intimidating state and local election officials.

"Election workers — ordinary citizens — were subject to death threats, menacing phone calls, people stalking them in their homes."

Biden noted that last year alone, 19 states enacted 34 laws attacking voting rights. "There were nearly 400 additional bills Republican members of state legislatures tried to pass. And now, Republican legislators in several states have already announced plans to escalate the onslaught this year."

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