President Joe Biden dug in on the controversial H.R. 1 "For the People Act," which Biden framed as being essential to secure and maintain voting rights and Republicans contend is needed to protect states' authority over local elections.
"What I'm worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It's sick. It's sick," Biden told reporters during the first solo press conference of his presidency Thursday.
He added: "Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote? Deciding that you're going to end voting at 5 p.m. when working people are just getting off work? Deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances?"
Biden then began to outline 3 priorities for his administration in the battle, but only mentioned legislative reform and voter education before switching to a rebuke of Republicans for their state's rights-centered view on election law.
"The Republican voters I know find this despicable -- Republican voters, folks out in the, outside this White House," Biden said in a stern tone, even raising his voice at one point. "I'm not talking about the elected officials. I'm talking about voters. Voters."
Biden vowed to "stop" Republicans from dictating election law reforms as Congress weighs H.R. 1, which Republicans reject as a "power grab" for Democrats.
"I'm convinced that we'll be able to stop this, because it is the most pernicious thing," Biden said, before uttering a line that immediately lit up social media: "This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle."
He continued: "I mean, this is gigantic what they're trying to do, and it cannot be sustained. I'm going to do everything in my power, along with my friends in the House and the Senate, to keep that from becoming the law."
When asked what Biden might do aside from legislation, he refused to answer.
"The answer is, 'yes,'" there are things he can do, Biden said, "but I'm not going to lay out a strategy in front of the whole world and you now."
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