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President Biden continues push for federal voting reform with visit to Capitol Hill

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) continues to position herself against a filibuster rule change that could impact voting reform.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:16 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Voting laws in Arizona could change if Democrats are successful in breaking down a long-standing political tradition.

A federal election law reform package aims to create nationwide voting standards while overruling recently passed state laws that Democrats say make it harder for people to vote.

The package would also cut money in politics and make partisan congressional redistricting harder.

In Georgia, President Joe Biden made it clear he wants voting law reform to pass even if Republicans in the Senate don’t support it.

President Joe Biden visited Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge Democrats to back changes to federal voting laws, even if it means changing the Senate’s filibuster rules which give the minority party power to delay and block debate on legislation.

As a senator, President Biden adamantly defended preserving the rule, but this week he made it clear he believes passing changes to federal voting laws is more important.

In Atlanta, Biden said, “If that bare minimum is blocked we have no option but to change the Senate rules including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden thought hard about calling for the rule change. She said it’s not just Georgia’s election laws that brought the president to this point. Jean-Pierre said 19 states have enacted 34 different laws she said make it harder to vote or undermine elections.

Jean-Pierre said, “What we’re seeing today reminds many, many Americans of some of the darkest points in our nation’s history when it comes to voting rights and the access to the ballot box.”

Senate Republicans continue to vocalize their opposition to a filibuster rule change, which could strip them of power to halt federal election reform. Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) said even if Senate Republicans can’t block the legislation, the party still could challenge it in court.

Ferguson said, “We are we are not going to sit idly by. We are going to continue to fight to make sure that this doesn’t happen. And I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion.”

All 50 Senate Democrats would need to support changing Senate filibuster rules to clear a path for a party line vote on election reform. Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) expressed her opposition to a rule change.

During a Senate floor speech, Sinema said, “The debate over the Senate 60 vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges. There’s no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60 vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role, protecting our country from wild reversals and federal policy.”

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