Senate committee Republicans deadlock critical voting rights legislation — forcing a heavy lift

Senate committee Republicans deadlock critical voting rights legislation — forcing a heavy lift
Mitch McConnell/Shutterstock

Republicans on the Rules Committee blocked critical voting rights legislation from advancing to the full Senate Tuesday evening, deadlocking the For the People Act in a 9-9 vote. The bill protects and expands voting rights, works to reduce the damaging hold of dark money in politics, limits destructive gerrymandering, and enacts stronger ethics rules.

Democratic strategists say if the Senate does not pass this vital legislation, which has already passed the House, Republicans could retake both chambers of Congress next year. Additionally, all the damage Republicans have done in recent months, passing voter suppression bills in at least 11 states with more legislation filed in another three dozen states, will disenfranchise countless Americans for decades.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will now be forced to hold a vote on the Senate floor. If he can convince all Democrats – Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a known holdout – or some Republicans, to vote to allow debate on the bill it can come out of committee on a majority vote. Vice President Kamala Harris could also cast the tie-breaking vote.

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