Jeffrey Toobin: Voting rights debate in Congress 'life or death for the democracy'

Jeffrey Toobin: Voting rights debate in Congress 'life or death for the democracy'
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CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested the debate about voting rights currently taking place in Congress is the most imperative issue before lawmakers.

"There's two big issues before Congress right now, infrastructure and voting rights," Toobin said Wednesday on CNN's "New Day." "Infrastructure is sort of the classic stuff you get in politics. How much are you going to spend on roads and bridges, how do you pay for it?" 

Voting rights, Toobin argued, is much more serious. 

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"The voting rights is very different," he said. "This is life or death for the democracy. This is about whether the people are going to control their government or the government is going to decide how the democracy works or doesn’t work. And I just think one of them is an existential crisis for the United States, and the other seems like it’s going to be worked out.”

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an expansive bill to overhaul federal elections, after senators voted 50-50 in the evenly divided Senate on advancing the For the People Act. 

Republican-led legislatures in several states have tightened voting laws in recent months, citing concerns about election security, sparking cries from Democrats and voting rights activists of suppression and demands for a federal overhaul of election law. 

President BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE, who called an election law passed in Georgia earlier this year "Jim Crow in the 21st century," vowed that the push for the elections overhaul bill was "far from over."

“The creed ‘We Shall Overcome’ is a longtime mainstay of the Civil Rights Movement. By coming together, Democrats took the next step forward in this continuous struggle—not just on Capitol Hill, but across the country—and a step forward to honor all those who came before us, people of all races and ages, who sacrificed and died to protect this sacred right,” the president said. 

Toobin recently returned to CNN after being placed on leave after he exposed himself on a Zoom call with fellow staffers at The New Yorker last year.