Senate Republicans blocked a signature Democrat election bill that would radically transform America’s electoral system and grant the federal government more control over the country’s elections.
The Senate voted 50-50, failing to meet the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the debate on S. 1, the For the People Act. This prevents the Senate from voting on the legislation. The legislation would federalize America’s electoral system, which has drawn strong opposition from Republicans.
The legislation would:
- Federalize control over congressional elections;
- Declare that standard state and local maintenance of elections systems, such as purging ineligible voters from voter rolls, limiting vote-by-mail, requiring voter ID, and establishing rules against felons voting, would erode the right to vote;
- Restrict lawsuits against the rules in S. 1 to the federal court system, which is, coincidentally, favorable to Democrats;
- Establish online and automatic voter registration;
- Protect illegal immigrants from prosecution if they vote;
- Establish same-day voter registration;
- Register minors to vote;
- Mandate early voting;
- Establish nationwide vote-by-mail without a voter ID; and
- Allow ballots to be counted ten days after Election Day.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said ahead of the vote that “reactionary” state legislatures’ election integrity bills amounts to “voter suppression:”
Schumer on voting bill: Are we had a backslide here in the 21st century? Are we going to let reactionary state legislatures drag us back into the muck of voter suppression? Are we going to let the most dishonest president in history continue to poison our democracy
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 22, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote that the legislation would serve as a Democrat “power grab.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said in a statement ahead of the vote:
The ‘For the People Act’ is another Orwellian-named bill that has nothing to do with voting rights but everything to do with consolidating Democrat control over government and our lives. Republicans want to restore confidence in our elections by making it easy to vote but hard to cheat. It seems like Democrats primarily want to make it easier to cheat. Why else would they propose eliminating voter ID laws, require ballot harvesting and drop boxes, make the FEC a partisan agency, and make it harder to maintain accurate voter files? They would also force taxpayers to help fund the campaigns of candidates they oppose. An accurate name for this monstrosity would be the ‘For Democrat Politicians Act.’
Ahead of the vote, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said the bill would “perpetuate a Democrat majority” and would serve as an “incumbent dream.”
Although the vote was expected to fall short of the 60 votes necessary to clear the cloture rules, Schumer held the vote anyway. Blackburn told Breitbart News that he held the vote to placate Democrats’ leftist base.
Blackburn said, “This is about positioning for him; in my opinion, he is concerned is that he is going to have a primary challenge from AOC. He is watching very closely what is happening on his left flank. They’re trying to keep the left is really in charge of the Democratic Party right now.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said in a statement after the vote:
As a former local elections commissioner in Montgomery County, it’s clear as day to me that this radical, partisan bill isn’t about democracy; it’s about changing the rules and tipping the scales to favor Washington Democrats. This partisan attempt to take over America’s elections would force Iowa taxpayers to pay for politicians’ campaigns, eliminate popular voter ID requirements at the polls, and put Washington, D.C. bureaucrats in charge of America’s local and state-run elections systems.
She added, “We should call this what it is—a power grab—and fully reject it.”