WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats will try again next week to pass a voting rights measure, Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, announced Thursday, though Republicans are expected to uphold their filibuster against legislation supported by all Democrats.
In a letter outlining the upcoming Senate agenda, New York Democrat Schumer said he would schedule a vote for next Wednesday to open debate on the voting rights legislation he and his fellow Democrats believe is needed. to remove new restrictions. imposed by Republican-controlled state legislators across the country.
“We cannot allow conservatively controlled states to double their regressive and subversive ballots,” Schumer said in the letter. “The Freedom to Vote Act is the legislation that will straighten the ship of our democracy and set common sense national standards to give fair access to our democracy to all Americans.”
His decision puts pressure on West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin III, who had initially been his party’s sole supporter in a sweeping voting rights measure passed by the House. Mr. Manchin helped draft a compromise version that he hoped would gain bipartisan support, and he sought time to convince Republicans to support it, but there is little evidence that GOP senators have embraced the alternative.
In the 50-50 Senate, it would take 10 Republicans to join every Democrat to gather the 60 votes needed to break and consider a filibuster of a voting rights bill.
Mr Manchin’s compromise narrowed the goals of the legislation, which would require states to allow at least 15 days early voting, ensure that all voters could vote by mail, and make Election Day a national holiday, among other provisions. . It would also make requirements for voter identification, but less onerous than what Republicans are aiming for.
Despite Mr. Manchin’s scope, there has been little movement among Republicans steadfast in opposing the Democratic vote, calling it an attempt to federalize state elections and gain an advantage for the Democratic Party. Their blockade of the voting rights law has led to calls to abolish or change the filibuster rules, but Mr Manchin has resisted those efforts.
Some Democrats who have agitated for such changes have hoped that when Mr. Manchin saw that Republicans were not even willing to back his compromise measure, he would drop his opposition to changing the rules, despite his repeated vows that he would never do that.
In his letter, Mr. Schumer said Democrats would also continue their internal negotiations to reach a final draft of a sweeping social safety net law that has been delayed by differences between progressives and moderates over its cost and content. He warned lawmakers would have to make concessions to get a final measure.
“To pass meaningful legislation, we need to put our differences aside and find common ground within our party,” said Mr Schumer. “As with any bill of such historic proportions, not every member will get everything he or she wants.”