Voting rights groups tell Biden not to visit Georgia without plan to pass elections bills
Several voting rights groups based out of Georgia issued a statement on Thursday advising President Biden and Vice President Harris against making their forthcoming trip to Atlanta unless they come prepared with a plan to pass election reform laws that have so far been blocked by Republicans.
The statement, which includes signatures from the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, points to the role Georgia voters played in securing victory for Biden and Harris in the 2020 presidential election, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Georgia voters made history and made their voices heard, overcoming obstacles, threats, and suppressive laws to deliver the White House and the US Senate,” the statement said. “In return, a visit has been forced on them, requiring them to accept political platitudes and repetitious, bland promises. Such an empty gesture, without concrete action, without signs of real, tangible work, is unacceptable.”
On Wednesday, the White House announced that Biden and Harris will visit Atlanta next week to “speak to the American people about the urgent need to pass legislation to protect the constitutional right to vote and the integrity of our elections from corrupt attempts to strip law-abiding citizens of their fundamental freedoms and allow partisan state officials to undermine vote counting processes.”
Voting rights legislation has struggled to make its way through the Senate as GOP lawmakers have used the filibuster to stall debate. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a letter this week that he is aiming to force a vote on changing the Senate’s rules by Jan. 17 if Republicans continue to block voting rights bills from being considered.
While the White House did not provide an immediate response to the voting groups, press secretary Jen Psaki said during her daily press briefing on Wednesday that passing voting rights legislation is a “huge priority” for the Biden administration.
The voting rights groups vowed to “reject any visit by President Biden that does not include an announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that will pass both chambers, not be stopped by the filibuster, and be signed into law; anything less is insufficient and unwelcome,” the Journal-Constitution reported.