Insider: Democrats’ ‘bold’ new attempt at bipartisan voting rights reform is failing to win over Manchin’s GOP allies
Insider: Democrats' 'bold' new attempt at bipartisan voting rights reform is failing to win over Manchin's GOP allies
Senate Democrats find themselves barreling towards another impasse with their Republican colleagues, with early signs they’re getting little to no bipartisan support for election security protections and expanded voting access that some nonpartisan experts say are essential after the disputed 2020 election results.
After Senate Republicans filibustered the For The People Act, Democrats’ ambitious voting rights, campaign finance, and ethics package, a group of eight Senate Democrats including key moderate Sen. Joe Manchin went back to the drawing board.
The group unveiled the Manchin-approved compromise bill, The Freedom to Vote Act, on September 14. It throws a bone to Republicans in imposing a nationwide voter identification requirement, but would still drastically reshape the US’ election law and campaign finance landscape.
“It’s a very bold bill,” Steve Spaulding, senior counsel for Public Policy & Government Affairs at Common Cause, told Insider. “It is still a sweeping, bold bill with many of the main pillars of the For The People Act in it.” …
Spaulding argued that the bill wouldn’t usurp the state’s authority to devise their own rules, but set more uniform standards and a “bare minimum floor.”
“While we’re electing one president and one Congress, there are 50 different state election codes that govern our federal elections,” he said. “And that just leads to a really unfair set and confusing set of rules.”…
“I think there is room for common ground, but at the end of the day, given that we’re talking about the fundamental freedom to vote, we need to give Senator Manchin room to bring along the Republicans that will see the wisdom of supporting this revised bill,” Spaulding said. “But at the end of the day, if that doesn’t happen, we do think it’s incumbent upon the majority to find a path forward to get this bill to the president’s desk.”