Voting rights bill in Senate poised for vote, Republicans opposed

WASHINGTON – The Senate is poised to consider voting rights legislation this week, possibly voting as soon as Tuesday. Its passage looks unlikely, but Democrats are working overtime to unify in its favor as Republicans stand firm in opposition. 

Democrats hailed the For the People Act – a sweeping bill aimed at protecting voters’ rights, increasing election security and mandating independent redistricting, among other provisions – as a bold countermeasure to restrictive voting measures pursued in states. Republicans slammed the legislation as overreaching, arguing elections should be left to the states, not the federal government. 

The legislation passed the House in a near party-line 220-210 vote in March. One Democrat joined all voting Republicans to oppose the bill.In the Senate, Democrats need the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome a legislative hurdle called a filibuster to bring the bill to a vote.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to take up the bill Tuesday. Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., seeks to tweak the measure to bring Republicans onboard. 

More:The House passed a sweeping voting rights act. What’s in it?

He had criticized the For the People Act as too partisan, writing in a Charleston Gazette-Mail op-ed that “we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized,” and the legislation would “divide us further” as a nation. 

He offered some compromises last week. Wednesday, Manchin delivered a list of provisions in the bill he opposed and supported, saying he would not rule out voting for a modified piece of legislation.

More:Joe Manchin will oppose For the People Act, putting Senate’s voting rights bill in peril 

Among Manchin’s compromises, provided to USA TODAY, he favors expanding early voting, banning partisan gerrymandering and making Election Day a public holiday. He proposed “allowable alternatives” for voter identification.

Source: USA Today – Breaking News

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