A GOP filibuster that blocked a Democrat voting bill has sparked outrage among the liberal members of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues now eye the next steps to take.
Though Republicans blocked the For the People Act, a top Democrat priority on Tuesday, Democrats still vowed to push forward on the measure, citing that not addressing voting rights, as they put it, would threaten the very core of American democracy.
"Once again Senate Republicans have signed their names in the ledger of history alongside Donald Trump, the big lie and voter suppression to their enduring disgrace... But I want to be very clear about one thing: The fight to protect voting rights is not over, by no means," Schumer pleaded after the filibuster, according to The Hill.
"Make no mistake about it," Schumer added, "it will not be the last time voting rights comes up for a debate in the Senate...We have several serious options for how to reconsider this issue and advance legislation to combat voter suppression. We are going to explore every last one of our options."
But the Democrats still didn't announce any strategy to revive their voting bill. The most obvious approach would be to break the filibuster by getting at least 60 votes. But as far as how they will get that done remains unclear.
Republicans not only rejected the original version of the 800-page bill, but also a slimmed-down version presented by centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin. Manchin also sent his slimmed-down version to Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and said he had spoken to the senator about voting rights. Murkowski voted against the For the People Act but said she would vote for legislation to beef up the Voting Rights Act named after the late Democratic Rep. John Lews.
"Her and I have talked and we're talking more and more," Manchin said of Murkowski. "[But] I can't figure out now why people want to make it difficult, or regress, and we've always basically encouraged people to vote."
But as President Joe Biden has said, he will be persistent in getting this kind of legislation passed. "I'll have more to say on this next week," Biden said. "But let me be clear. This fight is far from over—far from over."
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