Republican senators shot down an attempt by Democrats on Tuesday to pass an election bill, dubbed the “For the People Act,” that has been widely criticized as partisan.
“All 50 Democrats voted for the procedural measure, but it drew no GOP support, leaving it short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Democratic centrists, most prominently Mr. Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, have rejected ending the filibuster, though some have suggested ways to weaken it.”
Democrats have repeatedly sought to cast the filibuster as racist in an attempt to pressure senators to abolish it so they can ram through President Joe Biden’s liberal agenda. Democrats repeatedly used the filibuster to stop Republicans from advancing legislation under former President Donald Trump, and Republicans had to hold “time-sapping roll call votes to break a filibuster and end debate on nominees a whopping 314 times” under Trump, compared to a total of 244 times under all previous presidents combined, according to Politico.
“Republicans took issue with imposing federal standards on state elections that they said would weaken state ID requirements,” Fox News reported. “They also oppose starting a new public financing system for congressional elections and politicizing the Federal Elections Commission that enforces campaign finance laws.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that S-1, the election bill Democrats have been pushing for months, was “Democrats’ transparently partisan plan to tilt every election in America permanently in their favor.”
“We know that it would shatter a decades-old understanding that campaign law should have a bipartisan referee, and turn the Federal Election Commission into a partisan-majority cudgel for Democrats to wield against their political opponents,” McConnell said. “We know that it would let Washington bureaucrats direct federal dollars into politicians’ campaign accounts – government money for yard signs and attack ads. We know that it would let Democrats take a red pen to election laws in each of the 50 states, neutering popular precautions like voter I.D. while legalizing shady practices like ballot harvesting across the board.”
Even Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a centrist who often votes against her own party, could not support the extreme bill, calling it a “partisan federal takeover of the election system.”
Top Republican strategist Matt Whitlock noted that some of the top issues that Republicans had with the bill were that it provided taxpayer funded campaigns, gutted voter ID, mandated ballot harvesting, and politicized the FEC.
A steak dinner to any reporter on TV or writing about the election bill who mentions even a single one of the dealbreaker provisions – the primary reasons R’s rejected it:
✅ Taxpayer funded campaigns
✅ Gutting voter ID
✅ Mandating ballot harvesting
✅ Politicizing FEC
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 22, 2021
A new left-of-center poll released the results of a survey this week that showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans — including 91% of Republicans, 87% of Independents, and 62% of Democrats — support requiring voter ID in elections.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed without evidence that Republicans supported “voter suppression” because they opposed a takeover of elections.
A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to McConnell as majority leader instead of minority leader.