President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE will deliver a speech on voting rights in Atlanta next Tuesday, the White House said, as part of a renewed push by Democrats to advance election reform legislation in the new year.
Biden and Vice President Harris are both expected to travel to Georgia to speak about voting rights next week. Georgia last year enacted a new Republican-backed election law that the White House derided as an attack on the right to vote.
The White House said in an announcement Wednesday afternoon that Biden and Harris will “speak to the American people about the urgent need to pass legislation to protect the constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections from corrupt attempts to strip law-abiding citizens of their fundamental freedoms and allow partisan state officials to undermine vote counting processes.”
Democrats have argued that election reform legislation is necessary to push back against GOP-backed voting restrictions in various states. Republicans have accused them of attempting a federal takeover of elections.
The speeches will come as Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.) is trying to build momentum to pass election reform bills this month. Schumer wrote in a letter to the Democratic caucus this week that he would force a vote on changing the Senate’s rules by Jan. 17 if Republicans again block the consideration of voting rights bills.
Civil rights leaders have urged action on voting rights by Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Biden has indicated he would support changing the legislative filibuster — the 60-vote threshold required to end debate on most legislation — to pass voting rights bills in the face of continued Republican opposition.
However, Democrats do not yet have the support necessary to alter the filibuster in the Senate. Both Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden to meet with CEOs to discuss Build Back Better agenda Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to come MORE (D-Ariz.) back the filibuster and have not expressed support for an exemption from the filibuster for voting rights legislation.
It’s unclear whether Biden will make a more concerted and explicit push for changes to the filibuster in Georgia next week; the president has delivered speeches on voting rights before but not mentioned the filibuster in those addresses.
White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul Qatar emir to meet with Biden at White House next week White House underscores action amid violent crime streak MORE told reporters earlier Wednesday that passing voting rights legislation is a “huge priority” for Biden and that he would have "more to say" about the filibuster in the future. Biden is also expected to briefly touch on the subject during his speech marking the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Thursday.