Basic election integrity efforts led by GOP lawmakers in D.C. and state legislatures are “unAmerican” and “sick,” making “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle,” President Joe Biden said during his first presidential press conference Thursday.
Biden echoed the rhetoric touted by progressives in the House and Senate, voicing urgent concerns over basic election integrity measures pursued by Republicans.
“What I’m worried about is how unAmerican this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick. Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote. Deciding that you’re going to end voting at 5 o’clock when working people are just getting off work. Deciding that there will no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances,” Biden said, concluding that it is “all designed.”
“And I’m going to spend my time doing three things,” he continued. “One, trying to figure out how to pass the legislation passed by the House, number one. Number two, educating the American public. The Republican voters I know find this despicable. … I’m not talking about the elected officials. I’m talking about voters. Voters.”
Biden said he is “convinced” that Democrats will be able to stop basic election integrity measures, which Democrats routinely describe as forms of “voter suppression,” adding that such proposals make “Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
“I mean, this is gigantic what they’re trying to do, and it cannot be sustained. I’ll do everything in my power, along with my friends in the House and the Senate, to keep that from becoming the law,” Biden said.
Biden did not list his third item of action despite previewing “three things” he plans to spend his time doing in regard to these efforts.
When asked if there is anything else he can do outside of passing legislation, he said yes but refused to lay out a strategy.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dropped a similar line during Wednesday’s Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on S. 1, or the “For the People Act,” which would strip states of their power to implement and enforce basic election integrity measures, such as voter ID, essentially federalizing U.S. elections.
“Some of these voter suppression laws in Georgia and other Republican states smack of Jim Crow rearing its ugly head once again,” Schumer said Wednesday. “It is 160 years since the 13, 14, and 15th amendments abolished slavery, and Jim Crow stills seems to be with us.”
“The laws, their various cousins in Republican state legislatures across the country, are one of the greatest threats we have to modern democracy in America,” the progressive New York lawmaker added.
Senate Rules and Administration Committee