Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Thursday that he does not accept the proposal from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for a compromise on Democrats' wide-scale voting rights bill.
Manchin, the only Democrat in the Senate not to back the For the People Act, has floated the idea of finding a compromise between the two parties that would include a ban on partisan gerrymandering, requiring voter ID, providing at least 15 consecutive days of early voting before an election, and establishing Election Day as a public holiday. This proposal won the approval of Stacey Abrams, a major force among Democrats when it comes to voting rights, who said on CNN on Thursday that she would “absolutely” support the measure, but it failed to win McConnell over.
"Senate Democrats seem to have reached a so-called 'compromise' election takeover among themselves. In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise," McConnell told reporters on Thursday at a press conference where other Republican senators heavily criticized the For the People Act.
"It still subverts the First Amendment to supercharge cancel culture and the left's name-and-shame campaign model,” he added. “It takes redistricting away from state legislatures and hands it over to computers. And it still retains S1's rotten core: an assault on the fundamental idea that states, not the federal government, should decide how to run their own elections."
“I’ve been working across the aisle with all the Republicans trying to get people to understand that that's the bedrock of our democracy, and accessible, fair and basically secured voting,” Manchin said on Thursday.
“What Sen. Manchin is putting forward are some basic building blocks that we need to ensure that democracy is accessible no matter your geography,” Abrams said on CNN.
She called his proposal a “first and important step to preserving our democracy,” after Republicans passed laws in several states that critics say limit voting access and further disenfranchise Americans.
“Those should be untenable to any American,” Abrams said. “And if Joe Manchin and the U.S. senators who support this legislation are willing to come together on a compromise, then we will make progress. We will help to continue to ensure access to our democracy for as many Americans as possible. And that is always a native good.”
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