Harris says she's talking with GOP senators about voting rights

Harris says she's talking with GOP senators about voting rights
© Julia Nikhinson

Vice President Harris said on Tuesday that she has been speaking with GOP senators and other Republican leaders about voting legislation.

Speaking to CBS News, Harris said there is "no bright line" between who she speaks to about voting rights laws, adding that it is a "partisan issue" and "should be approached that way."

"I have spoken to Republican senators — both elected Republicans and Republican leaders," Harris said when asked if she has spoken to members of the GOP about the For the People Act, which has been blocked in the Senate.

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Harris told CBS that despite this setback, the bill continues to be a "key piece of what we need to do to fight for the right to vote."

Frustrations have boiled over in Congress over the setbacks, with some progressive lawmakers calling for the filibuster to be done away with. Harris declined to support filibuster reform during her interview with CBS, instead saying that "there is a national imperative to pass the voting rights legislation, and that is the test of our time."

"Any changes to the filibuster is going to require all Senate Democrats to support those changes," she added, appearing to reference Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (D-W.Va.), who has been a staunch opponent to getting rid of the filibuster.

Harris recently met with a group of Democratic state lawmakers from Texas who are in Washington, D.C., to prevent the passing of a state bill that would add more limitations to voter access. Harris told CBS that she will also be meeting with Native American and Alaskan native leaders for discussions on voting rights.

"There is a lot of work to be done. There is no question about that," Harris continued. "I join the chorus in saying that everyone has to approach this issue with a sense of urgency and a sense of deep-seated commitment to fighting against these efforts to suppress the vote."