August 3, 2021

Progressives attack Biden after election overhaul bill fails in the Senate

Not long after Senate Republicans used the chamber’s filibuster rules to block the sweeping election reform law liberals championed, progressive legislators began pointing fingers of blame for the measure’s failure, and not even President Joe Biden was spared from their ire, as Fox News reports.

Despite unanimous Democrat support for the so-called “For the People Act,” known as S.1 in the Senate, the vote to advance the massive voting overhaul fell short of the 60 required to overcome a Republican filibuster, as NBC News noted. While the outcome leaves the bill with no other obvious path to passage, Biden declared on Tuesday, “This fight is far from over,” according to the Associated Press.

Even so, Biden’s assertion did not seem to ring true among the surprisingly large number of far-left lawmakers who almost immediately began piling on the president for what they feel was insufficient effort in fighting for the legislation.

According to Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), “[Biden’s] not absent, but he needs to be a lot more vocal and a lot more out front. The president supports H.R.1, the American people support H.R. 1 overwhelmingly. The president needs to lead out front and be very vocal on this issue,” adding, “the same conversation needs to happen when it comes to S.1. The same relationships need to be used that the president has built over the course of his career to make sure we pass S.1.”

Taking that criticism a step further was Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), who indicated his own skepticism that Biden was committed to the bill’s passage in the first place, saying that the president “just sort of stared at me” during a personal exchange in which the legislator suggested more White House influence needed to be exerted on the issue.

Biden press secretary Jen Psaki attempted to reiterate the president’s commitment to the principles embodied by the bill and said he remains “absolutely revolted” by laws passed in a number of Republican-led states to shore up election integrity protections that the president himself called “voter suppression that represents a Jim Crow era in the 21st century.”

The result in the Senate also prompted some Democrats to lament what they see as the broader concern evidenced by this battle, namely that allowing the filibuster rules to remain in place will continue to thwart a host of progressive policies from being enacted, given the current 50-50 composition of the chamber.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) opined, as Fox News further noted, “We’ve got to find a way to pass voting rights and I’m deeply committed to that,” adding that “No Senate rule is more important than the constitutional right to vote.” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) hyperbolically fumed, “the people did not give Democrats the House, Senate and White House to compromise with insurrectionists. Abolish the filibuster so we can do the people’s work.”

However, with Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) – at least for now – standing firm in their opposition to eliminating the long-standing procedural safeguard, members of the far-left Squad and those who stand with them will likely remain stymied in bringing their radical agenda to fruition.

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