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April Ryan: Biden owes Black voters an explanation on stalled voting rights push

Longtime political journalist April Ryan said that President Biden owes Black voters in America an explanation for his failure to get federal voting rights legislation passed through Congress. 

“His disapproval is because many promises have not come through,” Ryan told Politico this week. “The White House says people are ‘Covid weary,’ but it’s a little bit more than that. … I’m looking for issues that pertain to Black America, particularly as Black America happened to be the catalyst for Joe Biden.”
 
Biden is scheduled to take questions from reporters during a rare and highly anticipated press conference at the White House on Wednesday. 
 
The briefing comes as Biden’s approval rating has sunk to record low levels amid a stalled domestic spending agenda and headaches related to beating back the coronavirus pandemic and its latest waves.  
 
Last week, Biden traveled to Capitol Hill to huddle with Democratic Party leaders on the best path forward as they look to pass sweeping federal voting rights legislation, something Biden promised he would see to if elected president. 
 
“The honest-to-God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said after emerging from the meeting last week with Senate Democrats. “I hope we can get this done but I’m not sure. … Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try the second time.” 

The president has also voiced support for changing Senate rules to allow Democrats to pass voting rights legislation without Republican support. Two moderate Senators in his party however, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), have said they would not support any effort to abolish the filibuster rule. 

During a fiery speech in Atlanta last week, Biden argued that the time has come for Democrats to do what is necessary to fight back against an effort by Republicans in recent months that he said suppresses voting, particularly among minorities. 

“This is one of those defining moments in American history,” Biden said. “Each one of the members of the Senate is going to be judged by history on where they stood before the vote and where they stood after the vote. There’s no escape.”

An endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) during the Democratic presidential primary and the resulting support Biden had from Black voters in South Carolina and across the country was key to him winning the party’s nomination in 2020.
Tags Democratic Party Jim Clyburn Joe Biden Joe Biden Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Kyrsten Sinema

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