Democrats’ voting rights expansion bill fails to pass GOP filibuster in Senate. What’s next?

Voting rights activists hold a rally before a civil disobedience action at the White House, October 19, 2021. Demonstrators are demanding that the Biden administration take the lead on voting rights and pressure Congress to pass legislation protecting the right to vote. Specifically, they want passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and DC statehood. Left to right: Rev. Ferrell Malone, Rev. Jamaal Bryant, Alyssa Milano, Jana Morgan, Rabbi David Saperstein. Photo by Allison Bailey/NurPhoto.

In the Senate, all 50 Republicans voted against debating the bill that would’ve made Election Day a federal holiday and allowed automatic and same-day voter registration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now says he plans to introduce separate legislation as soon as next week.

Vice President Kamala Harris said today at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington: “Right now, there are two bills in front of the United States Congress that would help to restore the Voting Rights Act and strengthen the right to vote for all Americans. The Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. These two bills are among the broadest efforts to protect and strengthen the right to vote since Dr. King died. But yesterday, as Senate Democrats voted to advance the Freedom to Vote Act, Senate Republicans voted against even debating it. Even debating it.”

Press Play looks at what happened and where Congressional Democrats may try to go from here.

Credits

Guest:

  • Ari Berman - senior reporter for Mother Jones, author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” - @AriBerman