Biden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland
Biden sees Manchin proposals on voting rights as 'a step forward'
President Biden views Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) compromise proposal on voting rights to be a "step forward," even as it is unlikely to garner any Republican support ahead of a critical Senate vote on the issue this week.
The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on a sweeping bill to overhaul federal elections, known as the For the People Act. The legislation is guaranteed to fail to get the 60 votes needed to advance past a GOP filibuster, with Republicans united in opposition.
"We don't expect there to be a magical 10 votes, but just two weeks ago there were questions about whether Democrats would be aligned. We certainly hope that will be the case tomorrow," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing.
"This has been a 60-year battle to make voting more accessible, more available to Americans across the country," she added. "And our effort, the president's effort to continue that fight doesn't stop tomorrow at all. This will be a fight of his presidency."
Biden has repeatedly spoken about voting rights as a top priority for his administration, cautioning that democracy is under attack as GOP-led legislatures enact stricter voting laws following the 2020 election. Vice President Harris is leading the administration's efforts on protecting voting rights, though her work thus far has largely been focused on listening sessions with community leaders and state officials.
The For the People Act would require states to offer mail-in ballots and a minimum of 15 days of early voting while calling for online and same-day voter registration. It also overhauls campaign finance rules, changes the makeup of the Federal Election Commission, imposes new ethics rules for public officials and establishes new requirements on congressional redistricting.
Manchin is viewed as the lone Democratic hold out on the bill. The centrist Democrat has criticized it as too broad and warned against passing a partisan elections bill.
The senator, after initially vowing to vote against the measure, has said he would support aspects of the For the People Act, including making Election Day a public holiday, mandating at least 15 consecutive days for early voting in federal elections, banning gerrymandering and establishing automatic voter registration through the DMV.
But he's called for eliminating language in the bill on public financing of campaigns, and he has expressed support for voter ID requirements.
"This is a compromise and as that happens, as compromises happen, it means there's a lot that you like about it, and it may not be everything you love but he certainly sees this as a step forward," Psaki said when asked if Biden backs Manchin's proposals. "And as Stacey Abrams said over the weekend, incremental steps forward in making voting rights more accessible, making voting more available is a good thing."