Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report Pressure grows to remove Boebert from committees Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' MORE said Thursday that Republican senators “voted to aid and abet” voter suppression for blocking a revised elections bill.

“Yesterday was such a sad day. Senate Republicans voted to aid and abet the most dangerous campaign of voter suppression since Jim Crow as they blocked a vote on the Freedom to Vote Act, hurting their own constituents and dishonoring the sanctity of the vote in our Constitution,” Pelosi said. “The stakes could not be higher.”

In a 49-51 vote in the Senate on Wednesday, the upper chamber voted to end debate on whether to bring up the elections bill. The Freedom to Vote Act seeks to end gerrymandering, make Election Day a national holiday and provide more transparency behind campaign ads, among other initiatives. 

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Previous voting on similar legislation has also faced Republican hurdles as it needs to overcome a 60-vote filibuster, which is impossible without some bipartisan support in the evenly divided Senate. 

Pelosi cited a figure from the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute that backs the Freedom to Vote Act, which found that, in the 2021 legislative sessions alone, 425 pieces of legislation in nearly all 50 states had been introduced to restrict access to voting. Pelosi said that the Freedom to Vote Act would end legislative efforts to suppress voters and nullify their ballots. 

Pelosi’s remarks echoed a statement she issued on Wednesday after the vote, saying that Democrats had “offered a good-faith compromise with the Freedom to Vote Act, Republicans refuse to even begin debate — because they know the only way they can win elections is by attacking the precious pillars of our democracy.”

Ahead of the vote, President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE also urged Senate Republicans to debate and vote on the bill.

“The right to vote — to vote freely, to vote fairly, and to have your vote counted — is fundamental. It should be simple and straightforward. Let there be a debate and let there be a vote,” Biden said.

However, the legislation was dubbed an “election takeover scheme” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (R-Ky.) before the vote took place. He said “this latest umpteenth iteration is only a compromise in the sense that the left and the far left argued among themselves about exactly how much power to grab in which areas.”

“The Senate knows how to make law in a productive, bipartisan way. We’ve done it this year on multiple subjects. We have done it on election issues themselves in recent memory when there was an actual problem that needed solving and an actually bipartisan process,” McConnell added.