Battle over voting rights comes to a head on Capitol Hill


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats on Thursday launched a new game plan to try and pass their two voting rights bills.

The bills are designed to strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act and improve redistricting and campaign financing rules.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said the bills “will ensure that every American has the ability to make their voice and vote heard in our democracy.”

The push comes after President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on Senators to send the legislation to his desk, even if that means changing the Senate rules to bypass Republican opposition.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says House Democrats are taking steps to bypass Republican opposition and fast track the legislation in the Senate.

On Wednesday night House Democrats held a committee hearing to tee up an immediate vote in the House and to jump start a debate in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the formal debate on the voting rights bills could begin as early as Thursday.

Schumer said he’s still working to get every Democrat to back the effort.

“We’re not there yet, I wouldn’t want to delude anybody into thinking this is easy,” Schumer said. “A lot of serious, long and intense meetings with Senators Manchin and Sinema.”

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are welcoming a vote to defend Senate rules.

“The reason it’s set up is to make sure that the minority is involved in legislation,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said. “This is not about democracy, it’s about Democrats winning elections.”

Republicans remain confident Democrats will ultimately fail.

The White House is still ramping up the pressure. Biden will meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday for lunch to urge them to take action.

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