clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights bill. Here’s what happened

Senate Democrats are awaiting Republicans to block the voting legislation

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky at the Capitol in Washington.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, right, walks to the floor as the Senate prepares for a key test vote on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that would overhaul the election system and voting rights, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Senate Republicans filibustered the Democrats’ new sweeping voting rights bill on Tuesday, denying the bill of getting 60 necessary votes for it to advance, Axios reported.

  • Because of this, there will be no debate over the bill, and Democrats will head back to the drawing board.

Per The New York Times, all 50 Democratic senators voted to advance the measure. But every Republican opposed it, which led to it fall short of the 60 votes.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote.

What we know about the bill

The Senate planned to vote Tuesday on the new sweeping election bill even though they knew it would be shot down by Republicans, according to the AP.

  • All 50 Democrats and 10 Republican Senators would have needed to vote for the bill in order for it to pass, according to The Associated Press.
  • The bill would “remove hurdles to voting erected in the name of election security, curtail the influence of big money in politics and reduce partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts,” according to The Associated Press.

Democrats knew the bill wouldn’t pass anyway.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill is a way to limit restrictive voting laws in Republican states like Georgia. However, Schumer said the vote is a way to open up the floor for debate and help reshape the bill, according to NBC News.

  • “It’s not a vote on any particular policy. It’s not a vote on this bill or that bill. It’s a vote on whether the Senate should simply debate voting rights,” Schumer said, according to NBC News. “Donald Trump, with his despicable lies, has lit a fire under Republican state legislatures and they have launched the most sweeping effort at voter suppression in 80 years.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat, said he couldn’t accept the bill, either, since it needs changes to receive Republican buy-in, according to The Associated Press.

Why didn’t Republicans support it?

Republicans have united against the bill, saying it is “a partisan power grab and a federal overreach into state voting and election systems,” according to CNN.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the bill was a “disastrous proposal” that will receive “no quarter” in the Senate, The Associated Press reports.

So what’s next with the voting rights bill?

Per The New York Times, the “Democratic leaders immediately vowed to redouble their efforts to steer meaningful voting rights legislation into law.”

But that will be easier said than done since Republicans seem against the bill. However, “Democrats’ only real hope of enacting an elections overhaul now rests on a long-shot bid to eliminate the legislative filibuster,” according to The New York Times.