Schumer tees up sweeping election bill for vote next week

Schumer tees up sweeping election bill for vote next week
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell pushes vaccines, but GOP muddles his message Biden administration stokes frustration over Canada Schumer blasts McCarthy for picking people who 'supported the big lie' for Jan. 6 panel MORE (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a key test vote for next week on a sweeping bill to overhaul federal elections.

Schumer started a fast-track process on Wednesday night for bringing the For the People Act up for a vote before the full Senate, where it's guaranteed to fall short of the 60 votes needed to defeat a GOP filibuster.

“This is the necessary step for Leader Schumer to move to proceed and file cloture on the voting rights legislation, which would then set up a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill next week," a spokesman for Schumer said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schumer still needs to take additional steps to force the initial test vote on the bill, which will determine what day the bill comes up for a vote in the Senate. But his actions on Wednesday night start the process for it coming up as soon as early next week.

Schumer has vowed that Democrats will vote during the week of June 21 on the For the People Act, which in addition for setting national standards on voting also changes the composition of the Federal Elections Commission, places new rules on congressional redistricting, online campaign ads and tightens ethics rules for the president and vice president.

Democrats previously offered changes to the bill, which were blocked by Republicans in a tied Rules Committee vote, that would have largely kept the bill intact but given states and local governments more flexibility on implementing the legislation's requirements.

The Schumer spokesperson specified that the bill being teed up by Schumer includes those changes.

Democrats could also make further revisions to the legislation as they try to win over the support of Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (D-W.Va.), the lone holdout in the 50-member caucus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Manchin's support wouldn't change the ultimate outcome next week, where the bill will fail because of a GOP filibuster. But Democrats are hoping to unify and keep the spotlight on GOP opposition instead of their own divisions. If Democrats can put up 50 votes that would also likely fuel calls from progressives for nixing the 60-vote legislative filibuster.

“This legislation could act as the vehicle for the voting rights legislation being discussed with Senator Manchin, which could be added as a substitute amendment," Schumer's spokesperson said.

Manchin has previously said that he can't support the For the People Act, even with the changes offered during the Rules Committee markup.

But he circulated a list to his Democratic colleagues last week, which was shared with reporters on Wednesday, detailing what within the mammoth roughly 800-page bill he does, and doesn't, support. 

"I’ve been sharing everything that I support and the things I can support and vote with and things I think’s in the bill that doesn’t need to be in the bill," Manchin said.