Much to the chagrin of Democratic politicians, Republican senators have successfully filibustered a partisan “voting rights bill.”
The expected move came Wednesday when the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to put the “Freedom to Vote Act” up for debate. Zero Republicans voted in favor of the procedural move.
Despite supporting the bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed his vote to “no.” According to NBC News, a “no” vote allows him to “request another vote in the future.”
In a Wednesday press release ahead of the vote, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the Freedom to Vote Act as a partisan scheme to federalize elections.
“Frankly, I’ve lost count of how many times our Democratic colleagues have tried to truss up the same takeover with new trappings,” he said. “For multiple years running, Washington Democrats have offered a rotating merry-go-round of rationales to explain why they need to federalize voting laws and take over all of America’s elections themselves.”
“But every time they try this shtick in the Senate, it falls flat.”
Although not a senator, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota weighed in on the Republican filibuster of the bill with a statement of his own.
“Cowardice reigns in the United States Senate,” he said. “Democrats in Congress have worked tirelessly to find common ground on what should be a uniting issue for all Americans, only to be turned away by the very Republicans who have demanded concessions in the bill.”
Phillips added that certain provisions were specifically removed, changed, or included to gain Republican support — but they evidently weren’t sufficient.
“For this good faith effort to be met with an anonymous filibuster is simply a dereliction of duty,” he said.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has been a notable crusader for the Freedom to Vote Act, having introduced it in the Senate along with some of her Democratic colleagues.
Among other provisions, the bill aims to promote same-day and internet voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, and require states to provide “drop boxes” for ballots obtained through the mail.