Dems switch strategy on voting bill as failure looms

Dems switch strategy on voting bill as failure looms

President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing the Senate filibuster rules that have stalled Democrat-led voting rights legislation, at Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Dems switch strategy on voting bill as failure looms

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are trying to force a public showdown over their sweeping elections legislation, aiming to launch debate on a key party priority even though there’s no assurance the bill will come to a vote.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined the plan in a memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, on the eve of President Joe Biden's visit to meet privately with Senate Democrats about the path forward. It still leaves the Democrats in need of a way to force a vote on the legislation, now blocked by a Republican filibuster and at least two Democrats refusing to change the Senate rule.

Republicans say the bill is nothing less than an effort to have federal control over all elections across the country.

Democrats are also facing a backlash against a speech Biden gave in Georgia earlier this week where he basically accused anyone who opposes the Democrat bill as a racist.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gave a scathing rebuttal to Biden’s speech Wednesday, objecting to his comparison of opponents of the voting legislation to racist historical figures, including George Wallace, the segregationist Alabama governor who ran for the presidency, and Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the Confederacy.

“You could not invent a better advertisement for the legislative filibuster than what we’ve just seen: a president abandoning rational persuasion for pure demagoguery,” McConnell, R-Ky., said from the Senate floor. “A president shouting that 52 senators and millions of Americans are racist unless he gets whatever he wants is proving exactly why the framers built the Senate to check his power. “