Biden ‘profoundly disappointed’ after voting rights push fails in Senate
President Biden released a statement saying he was “profoundly disappointed” that the U.S. Senate “failed to stand up for democracy” shortly after Democrats failed in their pass voting rights legislation on Wednesday night.
Biden said that while he was disappointed, he was “not deterred” by Democrats failure to overcome Republican opposition to a voting rights bill aimed at stopping election changes being debated and enacted in some GOP-led states.
“[T]oday, in state after state, Republican state legislatures are engaged in an unprecedented effort to suppress the sacred right to vote and subvert the American bedrock of free and fair elections,” he said.
“In the face of those threats, I am profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed — but I am not deterred,” he added.
“My Administration will never stop fighting to ensure that the heart and soul of our democracy — the right to vote — is protected at all costs.”
After Republicans enacted the filibuster to block passage of the voting rights legislation, Democrats Wednesday night moved to pass the legislation by tweaking the rules, which requires a 60-vote threshold to end debate.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) initiated a vote to change the rules to eliminate the filibuster only for the election bill, which would have required support from all 50 Democratic senators and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Harris to pass.
But moderate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) remained opposed to the filibuster change, and voted Wednesday against the rules change, killing any hope of passing the voting legislation.
In a call to change the filibuster rule last week, Biden said “the threat to our democracy is so grave we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills.”
In Wednesday’s statement, Biden said Vice President Harris would continue to lead the administration’s voting rights efforts.
Harris herself released a statement on Wednesday saying she would “not stop fighting” against the “anti-voter legislation that Republican legislatures continue to push at the state level.”
“Senators voted to preserve an arcane Senate procedure rather than secure that fundamental freedom,” she said. “The American people will not forget this moment. Neither will history.”