The House of Representatives approved House Resolution 1 (HR 1) on a near party-line vote, 220-210. The bill, dubbed “For the People Act” by its Democrat authors, would require states to automatically register eligible voters, as well as offer same-day registration.
The bill limits states’ ability to purge registered voters from their rolls and restore former felons’ voting rights. In addition, it would also require states to offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee balloting.
Critics of HR 1 have pointed out that the bill would eviscerate state voter ID laws that require voters to authenticate their identity. Thirty-six states have enacted some form of voter ID law, but those laws would be nullified if the Senate approves HR 1.
HR1 faces tough time in the Senate
The biggest obstacle for HR 1 lies ahead in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.
On some legislation, it takes only 51 votes to pass with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker. But on a deeply divisive bill like HR 1, 60 votes would be needed under the Senate’s rules to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Some Democrats have discussed options like lowering the threshold to break a filibuster, or creating a workaround that would allow priority legislation to be exempt.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has not committed to a time frame but vowed “to figure out the best way to get big, bold action on a whole lot of fronts.”
“We’re not going to be the legislative graveyard. People are going to be forced to vote on them, yes or no, on a whole lot of very important and serious issues,” Schumer said.
Senate Democrats float idea of changing filibuster rules
Senate Democrats, eager to advance their agenda in the evenly split 50-50 Senate, have floated the idea of changing the filibuster rules.
The Senate has a longstanding practice of allowing any one senator to object to the proceedings – generally referred to as a filibuster – that can halt action or votes. This has become a key weapon in what is often described as a procedural arms race in the Senate. Overcoming filibusters can take days, if not weeks.
Even without a senator holding the floor, filibusters have forced senators into all-night and weekend votes to advance legislation.
“Filibusters and the prospect of filibusters shape much of the way in which the Senate does its work,” the CRS report said.
It takes 51 votes to change Senate rules, a tall order in the evenly split 50-50 Senate. But the vice president can be a tie-breaking vote in favor of the Democrats, which could help bills like HR1 get through.
HR 1 can shape outcome of future elections
HR 1’s fate can potentially shape election outcomes for years to come. Democrats will benefit if it gets approved in the Senate and signed into law by Biden. In theory, they have more votes to gain courtesy of migrants, minorities and former felons. (Related: CHEATING Dems push new law to REPEAL voter ID laws nationwide, allowing illegals to dominate the future of U.S. elections.)
“Democrats want to use their razor-thin majority not to pass bills to earn voters’ trust, but to ensure they don’t lose more seats in the next election,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
Battle lines are quickly being drawn by outside groups who plan to spend millions of dollars on advertising and outreach campaigns.
End Citizens United, a left-leaning group, has launched a $10 million effort supporting the bill. Ironically, the group aims to curtail the influence of corporate money in politics.
Meanwhile, the conservatives are mobilizing a $5 million pressure campaign, urging moderate Senate Democrats to oppose rule changes needed to pass the measure.
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