Joe Biden is tired. The US president wants to protect Americans’ voting rights with two new laws, but he can’t pass them. Because the Republicans are wrong. “We want the people to govern,” Biden said during a speech Tuesday in Atlanta. “They want chaos to rule.”
Biden is frustrated by many things. He is angry at Republicans for blocking his Senate election laws by using “stall”. This is a great trick where senators prevent a vote on a bill by talking for hours – sometimes even days. Ending procrastination requires the support of 60 out of 100 senators. The law could already be passed by a majority of 51 votes.
He said on Tuesday that over the past few months the president had had “silent” talks with members of Congress. He wanted to convince them of the importance of election laws, but the talk wasn’t enough. Now the president’s patience has run out. “I’m not going to shut up anymore,” Biden said as he patted the podium. Somehow, the American president must be angry with himself. And his charisma comes rather late: Many Americans, too, are tired of Biden staying silent about it for so long.
Voting is getting harder
Biden took office a year ago. Much has changed since then in the area of electoral rights. Republicans in 19 states have passed dozens of laws that make it difficult for voters to vote. Postal and early voting will be restricted, polling stations in certain areas will be closed, and business hours will be shortened.
The Republicans’ reason for this is: to combat ballot fraud. Many Republicans believe the last presidential election was unfair and say they want to prevent it from happening again. This kind of sentiment is fueled by Donald Trump.
The president of the United States is frustrated by the damage Republicans have wreaked on election laws. On purpose, experts say, in places where black Democratic voters live: They will be particularly affected by the changes.
It was no coincidence, then, that Biden gave his speech in Atlanta, the capital of the southern Georgia state, the heart of the black civil rights movement. “I will defend your right to vote and our democracy,” Biden said. Against foreign and domestic enemies.
In his Atlanta speech, Biden spoke forcefully against the disruption tool. It was the first time; During his campaign, Biden wanted nothing. Calls from the Democratic Party to protect that threatened democracy by undoing the disruption have grown over the past year. Biden hesitated, he did not want to make a biased decision.
Plus, the deactivator works both ways, of course. What if Republicans soon had a majority in the Senate? Then the Democrats can’t use this trick either. But many critics are convinced that if Republicans win the midterm elections, they themselves will try to scrap the stall.
Last summer, Biden said he was ready to toughen up disruption rules. On Tuesday, in Atlanta, he gave up completely. Anything that protects his new electoral laws. These are the so-called Freedom of Voting Act, which expands voting options, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act, named after a politician who died last year, with the goal of tackling discrimination while voting.
Historic words in a historical place
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to bring the two bills back to the Senate this week. If the Senate doesn’t at least agree to debate the laws — which also prevents blocking — we have no choice but to change the Senate’s rules, including unblocking, Biden said.
Those were historic lyrics, in a historic setting, which is the birthplace of civil rights icon Martin Luther King. The only question is whether they are not late. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Senema have voiced their opposition to repealing the deactivation. Even within Biden’s own party, not everyone is on the same page.
Civil rights activists are frustrated that Biden did not act sooner; Some stayed away from the president’s visit. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether this discourse yields anything concrete, or whether it is just rhetoric. Reverend Al Sharpton met Biden after his speech and said, “I told the president he gave a massive speech and even though I’ve challenged him for months, it’s better late than never.”
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