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November 27, 2021

U.S. Voters

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Republicans Make Joe Manchin Look Foolish

2 min read

Senate Republicans have voted to block debate on Joe Manchin’s voting rights bill that he said repeatedly that they’d vote for. John Iadarola and Gary Chambers break it down on The Damage Report.

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Read more here: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/20/end-jim-crow-filibuster-republicans-rebuked-after-torpedoing-voting-rights-bill

"Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a compromise voting rights bill—the Freedom to Vote Act—sparking a deluge of criticism from Democrats and progressive groups who said it was the latest evidence of the need to get rid of, or at least reform, the filibuster.

"Like clockwork, you can always count on Senate Republicans to filibuster any attempt to make our democracy functional," said Meagan Hatcher-Mays, director of democracy policy for the Indivisible Project, in a statement.

The failed procedural vote had been expected. Democrats needed 60 votes to advance the measure, but the motion received just 49; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) changed his vote to no to be able to bring it up for a later vote.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who opposed the more sweeping and twice-GOP-filibustered For the People Act, helped craft the Freedom to Vote Act, which Democrats unveiled last month.

Supporters of the measure say it would provide a much-needed counter to the wave of voter suppression measures in at least 19 states. Among other provisions, the Freedom to Vote Act would ban partisan gerrymandering in congressional redistricting, make Election Day a national holiday, and enact an automatic voter registration system.

According to Stand Up America executive director Christina Harvey, "Manchin has exhausted every possible means of passing this bill on a bipartisan basis, and the American public has patiently waited while he has attempted to win support from an immovable Republican caucus."

"There is no compromise voting rights bill that will appease Senate Republicans, and today’s filibuster made that clear," she said. "Senator Manchin tried. It didn’t work. Now, we’re out of time. The only way to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation and safeguard our freedom to vote is to end the Jim Crow filibuster."

Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn similarly decried the filibuster as a tool "long used to stymie civil rights legislation [that] must not be abused again to defend the new Jim Crow laws being passed across the country to make it harder to vote today—particularly in Black and Brown communities.”

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