WASHINGTON (AP) – This is where we live. Democrats in the Senate made a very strong case for new legislation on Wednesday to fight against a wave of new voting restrictions across the country. They couldn’t get past a Republican blockade or get enough of their own members to support a change in filibuster rules to pass it.

The Democrats kept going even tho they knew they were going to lose the two elections. They wanted to show what they called a crisis in voting rights and how Republicans didn’t want to deal with it. They did get the Senate to debate the bill for the first time, which led to hours of raw and emotional debate on the floor about civil rights, racism, and how elections are run.

There will be no silence in this country. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and one of the bill’s authors, said that The people of the United States are being kept from hearing their voices because of an old Senate rule that isn’t even in the Constitution. I don’t think that’s right. ” That’s not right.

On Wednesday nite, Republicans blocked the legislation from moving forward. Democrats tried to change the Senate’s filibuster rules to allow the voting rights measure to move forward with a simple majority, but they didn’t get enough votes. But that also didn’t work, because they didn’t have enough support in their own ranks to change the rules.

People’s rights have never been at the heart of this “party line push,” says Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky and the minority leader. “It’s about giving more power to politicians.”

First, President Biden had to deal with back-to-back defeats. During a news conference at the White House, he said that Republicans had blocked his domestic agenda, including the voting rights measure. Senators who are Democrats put all of their power behind the issue, even tho it was a long shot.

Republicans fought hard against both the voting measure and the plan to weaken the filibuster. They said that Democrats were trying to make a crisis out of new state laws in order to achieve a long-term goal of having more control over state elections and were risking the uniqueness of the Senate to do so.

A group of Republicans, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, fought hard against both the voting measure and a plan to weaken the filibuster.

Democrats said that the Republicans’ opposition to the legislation was a throwback to when black people didn’t have the right to vote because of Jim Crow laws. Two of the three black senators who were in the Senate at the time disagreed over this.

Sen. Tim Scott, a conservative Republican from South Carolina, was raised by a single mother who worked 16-hour shifts as a nurse’s aide. He said that in the Jim Crow South, African Americans could be lynched, lose their jobs, or be forced to take literacy tests if they tried to vote. This is very different from today.

People who were born in 1965 and have a mother who understands racism, discrimination, and separate and not equal are offended when they hear people talking about them in a way that isn’t true, Scott said. It’s not just me or people in the South who find this offensive. It’s also offensive to a lot of people who fought for the right to vote.

As a liberal Democrat and the son of two people who were some of the first black I.B.M executives, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey was moved to tears when he heard what happened. Mr. Booker said that the racial discrimination that happened in the past is still going on today.

He said, “Don’t talk to me about Jim Crow.” : “I know this isn’t 1965.” And that’s why I’m so angry. 2022 is the year that more polling places are being removed from counties where blacks and Latinos make up a large part of the population.

Even tho they were facing a setback, Democrats thought that when people learned that Republicans were trying to make it more difficult for some people to vote after Democrats won the White House and Congress in 2020, they would support them.

We could lose everything that so many Americans have worked for and died for for nearly 250 years if we don’t act now, said Michigan Senator Gary Peters, a Democrat.

The Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act were two bills that Republicans had blocked four times with a filibuster. They were combined into one bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

A vote in the Senate took place to see if the bill could move forward. Vise President Kamala Harris was in charge.

Sarahbeth Maney, who works for the New York Times, says this:

The legislation would set national standards for ballot access that would try to overturn new restrictions Republicans have put in place in states across the country after the 2020 elections. There must be at least 15 consecutive days of early voting and all voters must be able to ask to vote by mail. Also, the bill would make Election Day a national holiday and set up new automatic voter registration programs, among other things.

Also, it would bring back parts of the landmark Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court had slashed in a series of decisions. These parts include a requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination have voting changes approved by the Justice Department or federal courts before they can be put into place.

People were talking on the Senate floor, which is usually empty. It was like going back in time. Some Democrats stayed at their desks all morning and afternoon to listen to their friends’ speeches. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus from the House sat in a corner of the chamber and watched the debate on legislation that they had helped get passed on the other side of the Capitol, where they were also sitting.

Later, when the Senate voted on whether to let the bill move forward, both parties sat at their desks and rose in turn to say what they thought. Vise President Kamala Harris was in charge of the dais, which is usually reserved for special events.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus talked about voting rights at the Capitol on Wednesday. This is how it works:

Sarahbeth Maney, who works for the New York Times, says this:

It was clear that Republicans and Democrats were not going to back down from the debate when it came to new voting restrictions across the country, the Senate, and how far minority rights should go to stop the majority’s plans. There was a lively debate, even tho the outcome was already known.

Republicans didn’t like the idea of being accused of supporting Jim Crow-style laws in the present day, which was made by Vise President Biden and other Democrats.

Senate Republican No. 2 John Thune of South Dakota says he’s not a racist: “I’m not a racist.” The people I know in South Dakota aren’t like that at all.

The 10-hour debate was a good example of the “talking filibuster,” which Democrats said they wanted to bring back. It forced lawmakers to take the floor and talk before going to a vote. In recent years, lawmakers have only had to say they don’t like a piece of legislation in order to stop it from moving forward unless its supporters can get 60 votes in favor of it.

In spite of the fact that all 50 Democrats voted in favor of the voting rights bill, all 50 Republicans voted against it. This meant that Democrats only had 60 votes to break the filibuster. Senator Chuck Schumer, who is a Democrat from New York and is the majority leader, voted with the opposition in order to let the measure be reconsidered at a later time. The final vote was 51 to 49.

Democrats also didn’t have enough votes to change Senate rules and let the voting rights bill pass with 51 votes instead of 60. Democrats Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two Democrats, did not want to change the rules.

There was a 52 to 48 defeat for the change in the rules.

He said that he was in favor of the voting rights bill, but he would not support any changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules to pass the bill, so he said that.

Sarahbeth Maney, who works for the New York Times, says this:

Mr. Manchin, who spoke on the Senate floor as Mr. Biden spoke at the White House, said that he fully supported the voting rights bill that he helped write. It would be hard for him to support changing Senate rules to pass the bill, and he said he would not support any changes made by Democrats on a political level.

He said, “We’ll make up new rules as we go.” “Let this change happen this way, and the Senate will be a group that doesn’t follow rules.”

Republicans were also very strong in their opposition. They said that the Democratic Party was trying to gain power for itself.

His colleagues attacked the Democrats. They said that many of them had defended the filibuster very loudly in the past, and they called the procedural weapon a “indispensable part of our institution.”

“It makes the Senate do what it was meant to do: make compromises, cool the flames, and make sure that new laws get support from a wide range of people in our country,” Mr. McConnell said.

Democrats were complaining about stricter voting rules in states that were run by Democrats. Other Republicans said the states run by Democrats had stricter voting rules than the ones Democrats were complaining about. And they said that Democrats were trying to get people’s attention away from other problems at home and the problems that the Biden administration was having by starting a fight about voting rights that didn’t need to happen.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said that Democrats “seem to want people to forget about the fact that they can’t keep their fridges or pantry stocked or that their kids are out of school because of the pandemic.”

It was a Democratic senator from New Jersey, Bob Menendez, who called on people to vote for a bill that would make it easier for people with disabilities to vote. Lewis, a former congressman who was badly beaten in Selma in 1965 and died in 2020, was a big part of the reason.

“Surely we in the Senate can find a little courage to protect that right, ” said Mr. Menendez, who is in the Senate. “Without the right to vote, there are no other rights.”


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