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Politics 'A fight against the wrong opponent': White House deflects liberal criticism on Biden's voting access push

11:30  23 june  2021
11:30  23 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued on Tuesday that progressive members of Congress criticizing President Joe Biden for not more forcefully advocating the passage of voting rights legislation were picking “ a fight against the wrong opponent .” The remarks from the president’ s top spokesperson came hours ahead of an expected Senate vote on congressional Democrats’ expansive election and ethics reform bill, a package virtually certain to fail in the face of staunch Republican opposition. The bill’ s likely demise has provoked new calls from Democrats to reform or altogether

The fact that Biden wasn't leading the charge in such a critical fight reveals everything about the stark realities of power that define Washington in mid-2021 and offers insights into how he sees his presidency. Yet at the same time, Biden was hardly throwing everything he had at passing the legislation in the Senate. He didn't tour the nation to drum up support. The first real sign of a White House grassroots campaign on voting rights came when Vice President Kamala Harris dove into a crowd of reporters after presiding over the vote and issued a battle cry meant to resonate through the

The White House is defending President Joe Biden from criticism that he has not been vocal enough about voter access, saying members of his own party are targeting "the wrong opponent."

Jen Psaki standing in front of a building © Provided by Washington Examiner

"Those words are a fight against the wrong opponent," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

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Psaki cited steps Biden had taken in the past to promote voter access, including securing a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act as a senator. As president, he has also slammed Republican-controlled legislatures in public addresses and private conversations for passing what they describe as election security and integrity bills, she said.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued on Tuesday that progressive members of Congress criticizing President Joe Biden for not more forcefully advocating the passage of voting rights legislation were picking “ a fight against the wrong opponent .” The remarks from the president’ s top spokesperson came hours ahead of an expected Senate vote on congressional Democrats’ expansive election and ethics reform bill, a package virtually certain to fail in the face of staunch Republican opposition. The bill’ s likely demise has provoked new calls from Democrats to reform or altogether

' A fight against the wrong opponent ': White House deflects liberal criticism on Biden ' s voting access push . The White House is defending President Joe Biden from criticism that he has not been vocal enough about voter access , saying members of his own party are targeting " the wrong opponent ." "Those words are a fight against the wrong opponent ," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

She referenced, too, Biden's executive action and the Justice Department dedicating more money and resources to enforce voting laws.

"We share the desire to fight against efforts by Republicans to suppress the vote around the country," she said.

"That's hardly sitting on the back bench," she added. "He will be standing with advocates in this fight for the foreseeable future."

Democrats, including Indivisible founder Ezra Levin, ripped Biden on Monday for not pushing harder for H.R. 1 or S. 1, known as the "For the People" Act.

“Where is the president? Is saving democracy a priority for this administration or not? I don’t want to see some tepid public statement. We need to see the President and VP using the full force of their bully pulpit to lead," he tweeted, mentioning Vice President Kamala Harris, who was asked to spearhead the White House's strategy.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued on Tuesday that progressive members of Congress criticizing President Joe Biden for not more forcefully advocating the passage of voting rights legislation were picking “ a fight against the wrong opponent .” The remarks from the president’ s Asked about Bowman’ s comments at a White House briefing, Psaki told reporters: “I would suggest that … those words are a fight against the wrong opponent .” Psaki said Biden “has been passionate throughout the course of his time in public office” about the issue of voting rights, and that he remains

White House staff sidelining Biden comes after a series of blunders the president made in front of the press. On Friday, Biden veered off message during an event promoting vaccines by responding to a reporter asking for his reaction to Catholic bishops voting to write a statement clarifying the Church’ s Jen Psaki revealed in May she tells the president not to take questions from reporters, expressing her desire to reduce the amount of access they have to Biden . “We’re never going to satisfy the White House press corps and their desires for access , and I think there have been mistakes made in the

Senators are scheduled on Tuesday to vote on whether to debate S. 1, a move that is predicted to fail as not enough Republicans endorse the measure. But Democrats in the chamber are not united behind the sweeping proposal either, including its public campaign financing and automatic voter registration provisions.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democratic holdout, does not support S. 1 unamended. Manchin's compromise framework, which would make Election Day a federal holiday, create more early voting opportunities, and ban partisan gerrymandering, has earned the approval of former President Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams as some Democrats press for achievable reforms by the 2022 midterm elections.

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Yet, liberal Democrats are growing frustrated with Manchin for obstructing their agenda. They contend messaging bills should be bolder and more ambitious, particularly if they are doomed not to succeed without overhauling the Senate's filibuster rules.

Biden confronts the limits of an already limited arsenal on voting rights

  Biden confronts the limits of an already limited arsenal on voting rights Gridlock awaits in Congress. So the White House is looking to use the bully pulpit to move the public, pressure businesses and put a spotlight on state laws.In April, standing inside the House chamber, Biden declared that the only way to restore the country's soul was "to protect the sacred right to vote.

President Biden and Democratic leaders said the defeat was only the beginning of their drive to steer federal voting rights legislation into law, and vowed to redouble their efforts in the weeks ahead. Seething progressive activists pointed to the Republicans’ refusal to even allow debate on the issue as a glaring example of why Democrats in the Senate must move to eliminate the rule and bypass the G.O.P. on a range of liberal priorities while they still control Congress and the presidency.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Sunday expanding voting access in what the White House calls "an initial step" in its efforts to "protect the right to vote and ensure all eligible citizens can freely participate in the electoral process.".

Tags: News, Congress, Joe Biden, White House, Biden Administration, Elections

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: 'A fight against the wrong opponent': White House deflects liberal criticism on Biden's voting access push

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