Nancy Pelosi appeals to Senate to support a voting rights bill

According to a person familiar with the situation, Pelosi stressed on a caucus call on Thursday that Democrats needed to prioritize HR1 – the massive election reform bill known as the For the People Act – to defend American democracy.

Nancy Pelosi is pushing House Democrats not to ditch their flagship voting-rights legislation in favour of a narrower plan, as the House speaker tries to overcome Senate resistance to the plan.

Pelosi is under pressure to take control of the investigation into the attack on the US Capitol.

Democrats must serve to defend democracy in the United States

According to a person familiar with the situation, Pelosi stressed on a caucus call on Thursday that Democrats needed to prioritize HR1 – the massive election reform bill known as the For the People Act – to defend American democracy.

The bill is on the verge of failing in the Senate after Joe Manchin, a crucial conservative Democrat, announced he would not support it or vote to abolish the filibuster rule, which would make it easier to pass.

Pelosi, on the other hand, expressed optimism that Senate Democrats would be able to persuade Manchin to back the bill and drive it through.

According to the source, Pelosi told her colleagues, “I haven’t given up on Manchin.”

Pelosi’s uncommon personal intervention to influence Senate events underscores Democratic leadership’s great concern over the bill’s fast-dwindling chances of becoming law in the wake of Manchin’s declaration.

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After pressing the matter in a letter to her Democratic colleagues on Tuesday, Pelosi restated her position for the second time in three days.

Because of the Republican assault on our democracy, we are at a critical juncture,” Nancy Pelosi wrote in the letter, adding that the bill “must become law in order to preserve the integrity of the vote, which is the foundation of our democracy.”

Some other Democrats also came out in defense of democracy

In the national fight for voting rights, Democrats have pinned their hopes on HR1 to overturn hundreds of new voter restrictions enacted by Republican state legislatures, including prohibitions on early and mail-in voting and the empowerment of partisan poll observers.

The 818-page law would increase voter access and tighten campaign finance restrictions. It would also terminate President Donald Trump’s exemption from conflict-of-interest rules, which allowed him to continue to run enterprises that profited from his government.

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Instead, Manchin has stated that he would support the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a limited election reform bill that would reinstate federal monitoring over state-level election laws that were ruled down by the Supreme Court in 2013.

However, Pelosi made it clear in her letter that the John Lewis bill was “not a substitute” for HR1 and that it would not be ready until after the summer since it is undergoing extensive vetting in preparation for anticipated legal challenges.

The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has blasted the bill as a Democratic power grab, virtually guaranteeing that it would be killed by a Republican filibuster.

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Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, has promised to push a vote on HR1, the House-passed bill, by the end of June, but with Manchin’s pledge to reject it, the passage in the Senate appears all but impossible.

Nancy Pelosi has shown no signs of backing down. In the letter, she stated, “HR1 must be passed now.”

 

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