Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 4, 2021

Politics

Senate GOP again blocks Democrats’ election bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the third time this year, Senate Democrats on Wednesday tried to pass sweeping elections legislation that they tout as a powerful counterweight to new voter integrity laws sweeping conservative-controlled states.

Once again, Republicans blocked them.

But amid the ongoing stalemate, there are signs that Democrats are making headway in their effort to create consensus around changing Senate procedural rules, a key step that could allow them to muscle transformative legislation through the narrowly divided chamber.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, recently eased his longstanding opposition to changing the filibuster rules, which create a 60-vote threshold for most legislation to pass.

“I’ve concluded that democracy itself is more important than any Senate rule,” said King, who acknowledged that weakening the filibuster would likely prove to be a “double-edged sword” under a Republican majority.

Democrats still face long odds of passing their bill, now known as the Freedom to Vote Act, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., excoriated Wednesday as a federal “election takeover scheme.” But the softening of King’s stance on the filibuster amounts to progress, if incremental, for Senate Democrats as they look to convince others in their caucus to support a rule change.

The Democrats’ voting bill was first introduced in March in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. It quickly passed the House at a time when Republican-controlled legislatures — many inspired by Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen 2020 election — were advancing election security measures.

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Bob Gorrell
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