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Thu Mar 4, 2021, 12:14 AM

House Democrats pass sweeping elections bill as GOP legislatures push to restrict voting

Last edited Thu Mar 4, 2021, 06:46 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Washington Post

The House late Wednesday night passed expansive legislation to create uniform national voting standards, overhaul campaign finance laws and outlaw partisan redistricting, advancing a centerpiece of the Democratic voting rights agenda amid fierce Republican attacks that threaten to stop it cold in the Senate. The bill, titled the “For the People Act,” was given the symbolic designation of H.R. 1 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and it largely mirrors a bill passed two years ago in the early weeks of the House Democratic majority.

This year, however, the bill has taken on additional significance because of the new Democratic majority in the Senate and President Biden’s November win, as well as the efforts underway in dozens of Republican-controlled state legislatures to roll back voting access in reaction to former president Donald Trump’s loss and his subsequent campaign to question the election results. Democrat after Democrat said this week that the GOP’s state-level efforts made it more important than ever to act at the federal level to preserve expansive voting laws.

Many invoked the gains won in the 1960s civil rights movement by activists including John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who died of cancer last year. “The right to vote is under attack,” said Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.). “Voter suppression is alive and well. Old battles have become new again. The legacy of the foot soldiers like John Lewis requires that we pick up that baton — the baton of voter access, the baton of voter equality — and we continue the next leg. Their cause is now our cause, too.”

The bill’s voting provisions would guarantee no-excuse mail voting and at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections; require states to use their existing government records to automatically register citizens to vote; restore voting rights to felons who have completed their prison sentences; and mandate the use of paper ballots. Other provisions would create new disclosure requirements for “dark money” donations to political groups; require states to appoint independent commissions to draw congressional districts; and create new federal standards for election equipment vendors.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-elections-voting-pelosi-/2021/03/03/e434df58-7c22-11eb-a976-c028a4215c78_story.html



Now onto the Senate.

ETA - roll call vote here - https://clerk.house.gov/evs/2021/roll062.xml

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 12:25 AM

1. This is what I've been wishing for. National control of national elections. nt

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 12:27 AM

2. In Manchin gonna kill this one too?

Magic 8 Ball sez: "Signs point to yes".

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Response to Mawspam2 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 12:38 AM

3. In this case, even if every Democrat, including Manchin, voted for it

it would still need a total of 60 votes to clear cloture and they surely won't have 10 Republicans willing to join in.

They would have to ditch the filibuster to move it.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 12:58 AM

4. and the filibuster must end for democracy to survive otherwise fascists will be unstoppable in 22,24

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Response to yaesu (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 01:37 AM

13. On tonight's Rachel, she explained how Senate doesn't have to do away with filibuster outright

but to use filibuster smartly like the GQP did for the last years.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 01:50 AM

5. Which is why Manchin will kill it.

He could kill the filibuster, but won't. So this will be entirely on him.

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Response to Mawspam2 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 06:02 AM

7. Well interestingly enough, Kyrsten Sinema is the other (D) who is against killing the filibuster

but has apparently not been "called out" as much as Manchin, despite the fact that AZ did go blue for President in 2020 (where WV did not).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 05:54 AM

6. Filibuster question

I read that the Senate can make exceptions to the filibuster. Like the Repugs did regarding judicial appointments. Can there be an exception rule made for legislation regarding voting rights?

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Response to Freddie (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 06:11 AM

8. The Senate can change their "Rules" by a simple majority

and that has been the latest option floated - to do it for limited legislation - just like it was incrementally removed for Presidential appointees EXCEPT SCOTUS appointees (when Harry Reid was Majority Leader in 2013) and then even that fell under Turtle.

IMHO, perhaps if it is something that has to do with spending, those types of bills could still require a 3/5 vote for cloture, but other types of legislation should be passable with a simple majority. Otherwise we will forever be stuck in "gridlock" as a self-fulfilling prophesy in this era of media-fueled hyper-partisanship.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 07:28 AM

9. Historic, this is a heavyweight issue being taken very seriously

If a democracy can't agree on universal voting procedures, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Hope they included vote counting.

I suspect this would end a lot of court wrangling too. It's been a hodgepodge of partisan lawyers and judges and jurisdictions all trying to tweak the vague, leaky rules to gain advantage. Even Republicans would benefit from a known, level playing field; they could concentrate on messaging and platform.

GQP will probably be in court 20 minutes after this becomes law saying it's not Congress' power to set state rules.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 07:32 AM

10. Unfortunately it won't become law unless the filibuster is changed in the Senate.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 07:35 AM

11. Thanks for the reminder, I did read that in the previous post

The 50-50 Senate is a stalemate. It's like each side is waiting for Divine Providence to deliver a majority.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 08:38 AM

14. Manchin said NEVER!

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Response to riversedge (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 5, 2021, 08:51 AM

15. The only other possibility

(at least for the immediate future) would be some sort of compromise to segregate out "types" of legislation that would still be subject to filibuster (e.g., "spending" ) and let other legislation only require a simple majority OR require that any filibuster be an actual "talking" one.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 11:48 AM

12. As of now, H.R. 1 is symbolic.

Until we have 60 Democratic senators, anything that advances voting rights or civil right is DOA.

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