Obama’s action comes as the Senate prepares for its main vote on the bill on Tuesday.
The Democrats’ bill is the most comprehensive reform of state election rules in decades and aims to make it easier to vote in upcoming elections. It protects and broadens postal voting, which Republicans and President Trump vehemently opposed in the last election. The controversial division of electoral districts, as well as the financing of political campaigns, must also be addressed.
“It’s the result of a compromise,” Obama said Monday of the proposals made by conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in recent days. Nor does President Biden ignore Manchin’s efforts to bring electoral reform into practice.
Democrats are trying with for the peopleA law to counter Republicans who have adopted stricter electoral rules in several states in recent months. The House already approved the bill in March, but it now threatens early failure in the Senate.
I just voted early with Mom and Johnny in Albany. With voting rights under attack, we must protect this sacred right and make voting easier – not harder. let’s pass #ForThePeopleAct pic.twitter.com/JuAjCQSPJz
– Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 20 2021
Not only are Senate Republicans staunchly opposed to the bill, but they also threaten not to consider it during a procedural vote on Tuesday. The Democrats lacked the support of ten Republicans, and they needed to start the debate on the bill. There is a good chance that the bill will actually be blocked on Tuesday by Republicans, who, like Democrats, control half of the Senate.
By supporting Manchin’s proposals, Obama is trying to prevent Democrats’ efforts from turning into a disaster. The settlement proposals could count on the support of some Republican senators.
Manchin opposes the massive Democratic bill because, like Republicans, he thinks it goes too far. Obama’s move is noteworthy because it is unusual for previous presidents to intervene so openly in political discussions after their departure.
Senator Joe Manchin carries a fateful burden.
By deadlock, it is literally the vote oscillating between two warring visions of the same vote https://t.co/VXXcu6ld0R
– Bloomberg Opinion (Pobinion) June 21, 2021
Obama’s support for Manchin is also hot because the senator has become increasingly independent and often takes the side of Republicans. “It’s an attempt by the most conservative Democrats in Congress to come up with reasonable reforms,” Obama said in an interview with Yahoo. “Proposals that a majority of Americans, Democrats and Republicans could agree to.”
Manchin supports early voting, among other things, which Democrats strongly support. He also maintains the proposal to make Election Day a holiday to encourage voters to go to the polls. However, he also embraces Republican proposals, such as requiring voters to present identification cards when voting.
The White House called Manchin’s proposals a “step forward” on Monday. Biden, who has described electoral reform as an important part of his presidential agenda, met Manchin at the White House on Monday. However, the White House did not go so far as to fully embrace the senator’s compromise proposals.
Whether Manchin’s efforts will be sufficient to avoid a major Democratic defeat in the Senate is questionable. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the Democrats’ bill a “partisan power grab.” He, like many other Republicans, also rejects Manchin’s compromise proposals.
Republican senators are seeing their party members in states, from Texas to Florida, doing their best to toughen election rules, with the support of former President Trump. Some senators will also have to fight for re-election in next year’s midterm elections and any new rules that may be detrimental to them.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer challenged McConnell on Monday. If Republicans thwart a debate on such an important topic on Tuesday, Democrats will want to use it against them in the coming months. Schumer mocked McConnell and his colleagues: “Will our Republicans allow us to debate each other?” “We’re about to see how my fellow Republicans are going to answer that question.”
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