Politics Senate Democrats to meet with Texas lawmakers on voting rights
Voting: Progressive groups plan pressure campaigns on Senate Democrats to pass federal laws
Senate action this month could prove crucial to federal efforts to counteract the growing voting restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled states, activists say.Progressive and voting rights groups say they plan to ratchet up pressure on Democrats in the Senate in coming weeks to do whatever it takes to pass the federal voting legislation they view as key to counteracting the blitz of new voting restrictions in Republican-led states.
Senate Democrats will meet on Tuesday with lawmakers from the Texas state legislature to discuss voting rights.
The meeting, which will take place during a closed-door caucus lunch, comes as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning to hold a vote next week on a sweeping bill to overhaul elections.
"Texas is only the most recent flash point in the nationwide effort by Republican legislators to contract Americans' right to vote as you well know. ...The tide of Republican voter suppression laws is a direct assault on our democracy and could disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans. Today I'm proud to say at the Democratic caucus lunch, we will host a group of Texas Democrats," Schumer said from the Senate floor Tuesday morning.
What Senate Democrats Should Learn from the Texas Walkout Over Voting Rights
Texas legislators have demonstrated that a minority doesn’t need a filibuster to promote bipartisanship or protect democracy.In other words, Texas Democrats have demonstrated that a minority that’s actually interested in legislating doesn’t need a “filibuster” to stop an out-of-control majority.
Schumer added that the discussion would focus on "how to come together to protect voting rights."
The fight in Texas jumped into the national spotlight late last month when Democratic state lawmakers staged a walkout as part of an effort to stop a bill that would have placed new restrictions on voting. It's unclear how permanent their victory is, however, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) pledging to call a special session on election changes.
The group of Texas Democrats is in Washington this week to discuss voting rights, and will meet separately with Vice President Harris.
Democrats view passing voting legislation as a top priority as state legislatures around the country have introduced, debated and, in some cases, passed bills that would place new rules on voting, with many of those focused on mail-in voting or voter ID.
Republicans in the States Are Proving Joe Manchin Wrong
Red states continue to be a harbinger of what’s to come at the federal level.In places such as Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, and Montana, the most restrictive laws approved this year have passed on total or near-complete party-line votes, with almost all state legislative Republicans voting for the bills and nearly all Democrats uniting against them, according to an analysis of state voting records provided exclusively to The Atlantic by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU.
But they face headaches from within their own ranks on getting anything to President Biden's desk.
The House has already passed a sweeping bill that would overhaul federal elections, known as the For the People Act. Senate Democrats are expected to vote on the bill next week, though they arepotential changes to shore up support.
But to get a bill through the Senate, they would need 60 votes or to nix the filibuster, something they don't currently have the support to do. And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has said that he doesn't support the For the People Act, also known as H.R. 1 or S. 1, as it's currently written.
In addition to describing it as too broad, he's also bristled at the fact that it doesn't have Republican support, a red line that has infuriated progressives.
Senate set to take up sweeping voting rights bill. But it's unlikely to advance .
It is not expected to get any Republican votes.On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday's vote is simply to begin debate on voting rights.