(Headline USA) The Democrats’ massive, overreaching HR/S1 voting overhaul is all but certain to be rejected in a key test vote in the Senate amid the radical Left’s unprecedented threats to end the filibuster and other hard-ball tactics in the evenly-divided chamber.
The far-reaching proposal, at nearly 900 pages, is viewed as a power-grab to ensure permanent majorities for Democrats despite their vastly unpopular policies and reckless agenda.
But Republicans are united in opposition, along with several allies on the moderate Democrat side.
“Are you afraid to debate?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said Monday ahead of the vote. “We’re about to find out.”
Months in the making, Tuesday’s showdown over the so-called For the People Act is hardly the end of the road but the start of long campaign ahead for the party in power with the narrowest of majorities.
President Joe Biden has vowed what the White House calls the “fight of his presidency” in the wake of alarming allegations of widespread, systemic vote fraud last election.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell blasted the legislation ahead of the debate as a “disastrous proposal” that will get “no quarter” in the Senate.
After the first legislation of the 117th Congress sailed through the House on a party-line vote, Schumer and his cohorts have been preparing for this moment for months.
Yet, lawmakers faced their own internal divisions over the sprawling bill, which would remove safeguards erected in the name of election security, regulate the flow of big money in politics and reduce red-state legislatures’ constitutionally-derived influence over the drawing of congressional districts.
As recently as last week, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he couldn’t support the bill without changes he wanted as a way to draw Republican support.
Manchin remained a holdout late Monday following a meeting with Biden at the White House, where the two discussed voting rights.
The senator would not say whether he would vote to advance the bill, explaining he was still reviewing the final version. “I have to see the rest of it tonight,” he said at the Capitol.
Manchin proposed his own changes last week as he tried to trim back some areas and expand others, adding provisions for a national voter ID requirement, which is anathema to many Democrats, and dropping a proposed public financing of campaigns.
Despite the seeming compromises, the voter-ID requirement would do little to address concerns over vote-fraud since it would permit the use of utility bills and other documents that do not identify a person’s voting eligibility.
As the Biden administration’s open-borders policy lets millions of illegal immigrants in through the back door, many see an effort underway to import what Democrats hope will be new voters to secure their stranglehold on power by undermining the rule of law, public safety and America’s sovereignty as a nation.
Although reports of duplicate voters, dead voters and others who are ineligible for various reasons have not generally been viewed as widespread, the rampant corruption in many blue cities has raised alarm that if vote fraud isn’t already baked into the system, HR1 will encourage and enable it to be.
The proposed Manchin changes were largely well received, welcomed by Biden’s administration as a “step forward,” while earning the nod of approval from one of the party’s key anti-election-integrity advocates, failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who refused to concede her 2018 race to the state’s current governor, claiming it was rigged.
Manchin’s modifications, however, did little to address the GOP’s root concerns and failed to garner the bipartisan support he was hoping for. Senate Republicans said they would likely reject any legislation that expands the federal government’s role in elections, in clear violation of the will of the framers of the US Constitution, who designated that power to the states.
“I keep thinking there’s a few who want to,” claimed radical leftist Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who authored the legislation in the Senate, during a conference call Monday night with the activist group Our Revolution. “But when McConnell lowered the boom,” he continued, “we couldn’t get a single Republican to join us.”
The Democrats’ failure to woo bipartisan support for their political ploy has brought to a head questions over the filibuster, the decades-old Senate rule that requires 60 votes for most bills to advance.
Ironically, many of those now threatening to eliminated it were among its most vocal proponents in 2017, when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House.
While some Democrats now want to change the Senate’s rules to push the elections bill and other priorities past the filibuster, Manchin and others—including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.—are opposed to taking that next move.
Biden, too, has said in the past that he wants to leave the filibuster intact, although he has waffled repeatedly on other campaign promises.
“The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings,” Sinema wrote Monday in an opinion piece for The Washington Post. She welcomed a fulsome debate “so senators and our constituents can hear and fully consider the concerns and consequences.”
Pressure from the party’s radical arm to change the rule is mounting, though. For now, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration’s hope is that the chamber’s 50 Democrats are aligned and that an unsuccessful vote will prompt the search for a new path.
The White House didn’t give its full support to the Manchin alternative. But Psaki said the president “is appreciative of the efforts by Sen. Manchin and others to continue to make progress on voting rights, which he feels is a huge priority.”
As the Senate action churns, more changes could be coming to the bill.
Democrats claim they want to protect against intimidation at the polls in the aftermath of the 2020 election, although they have selectively enforced existing laws to address it when it suits their own interetests.
Following clashes between GOP election watchers and poll workers who appeared to be engaged in suspicious and nefarious activities in plain sight, Democrats now propose enhancing penalties for those who would threaten or intimidate election workers and creating a “buffer zone” between election workers and poll watchers, among other possible changes.
Acknowledging the partisan motives of the rival party, Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., a lead sponsor of the bill, said the effort underway is to “respond to the growing threat of election subversion in GOP-led states across the country.“
Democrats also want to limit the ability of state officials to remove a local election official without cause. Georgia Republicans passed a state law earlier this year that gives the GOP-dominated legislature greater influence over a state board that regulates elections and empowers it to remove local election officials deemed to be underperforming.
“The dangers of the voter suppression efforts we’re seeing in Georgia and across the nation are not theoretical, and we can’t allow power-hungry state actors to squeeze the people out of their own democracy by overruling the decisions of local election officials,” said Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., who is working to advance the proposal in the Senate.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press