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Embattled Texas Dems Plead for Voting Rights Action; Biden Gives Speech

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14.07.2021

Five hours before President Joe Biden was set to speak on the existential threat to American voting rights, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) made the stakes of Biden’s address crystal clear.

“If he is serious about saving our ailing democracy, he will voice his support for, at the very least, reforming the filibuster to pass the For the People Act on a simple majority vote in the Senate,” Jones said in a statement, referring to Democrats’ bill to expand voter access and reform elections. “Anything less at this point,” Jones said, “is an insult to the voters, organizers, and activists who understand the dire stakes of this moment and are counting on him to act.”

Consider the voters, organizers and activists insulted.

Biden on Tuesday did not downplay the danger that nationwide efforts by Republicans to limit access to the ballot box pose, calling attempts to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair elections “an unfolding assault taking place in America today.” But beyond a featureless, albeit impassioned, call for the Senate to pass voting-rights legislation currently stuck in a procedural quagmire, Biden’s address largely amounted to a pep rally for the right to vote.

“We have the means,” Biden said, apparently unironically. “We just need the will.”

Biden’s address at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a venue chosen to emphasize the fundamental role that free and fair elections play in American government, comes as Republicans across the country move to pass legislation restricting access to the ballot box.

While Biden geared up to speak, 140 miles away, the scene outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday morning seemed to exactly represent that two-pronged problem for Democrats. A group of Texas Democratic lawmakers assembled for a press conference hours after fleeing the state as part of a Hail Mary effort to block the state’s GOP........

© The Daily Beast


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