Biden concedes US push to pass voting rights bills may fail

On Thursday, Biden spoke with Democratic senators in an attempt to obtain backing for a temporary change in the rules of voting rights bills

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President Joe biden
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After key senators decided to double down on their opposition to amending Senate rules, US President Joe Biden confessed he was doubtful if his Democratic Party would be able to implement major voting rights reform legislation.

On Thursday, Biden spoke with Democratic senators in an attempt to obtain backing for a temporary change in rules that would enable the voting rights bill to pass with only a bare majority of the chamber’s 100 members.

Under existing regulations, a minority of just 41 senators can prevent legislation from being passed. The Senate is now split 50-50 amongst Republicans and Democrats, with Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris giving the tie-breaking vote in the event of a tie.

Biden said

The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done.

As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.

The statement came after Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema announced to reporters that she would not endorse a “short-sighted” rule change to enable the legislation to pass, thereby bringing an end to hopes that Democrats would get the 50 votes required to overcome them.

Senator Joe Manchin, who was among the politicians Biden spoke with on Thursday, confirmed his opposition to modifying the filibuster, which allows a minority of senators to block legislation from being passed.

The Biden administration has set federal voting rights reform as a primary goal for 2022, with President Biden promising in a speech on Tuesday that

I will not yield. I’m not going to flinch.

After incumbent US President Donald Trump, a Republican, launched a campaign to reverse the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election based on inaccurate charges of voter fraud, the focus has been shifted to federal-level reforms.

While Trump’s campaign failed, his propaganda has struck a chord in Republican-controlled state legislatures throughout the country, with at least 19 states enacting bills in 2021 that supporters say make it more complicated for some citizens to vote.

Democrats are pushing two federal bills that would be the most substantial revamp of US elections in a century, erasing impediments to voting erected in the name of election security, lowering big money’s power in politics, and limiting political impact over congressional district drawing.

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