Schumer delays voting rights legislation in the Senate

Charles Schumer
Posted at 8:33 PM, Jan 13, 2022

The U.S. Senate adjourned Thursday night without taking up voting rights legislation that passed in the House earlier in the day.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had wanted to put the legislation to a vote before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, according to The Hill.

However, citing an incoming storm and COVID-19, Schumer said the Senate would take up the legislation on Tuesday.

The bill was dealt a blow earlier Thursday when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said she is not in favor of changing Senate rules to bypass the filibuster.

Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, who has also said won't eliminate the filibuster, reportedly made a stop at the White House Thursday to meet with President Joe Biden. It's unclear whether they will ultimately help the president get a signature piece of his agenda passed.

The Democrats want to essentially pass two voting rights bills — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Accountability Act.

The Freedom to Vote Act is a more broad piece of legislation that would take steps to prevent gerrymandering, expand access to voting by mail and expand voter ID laws so that more forms of ID — not just driver's licenses — are accepted at the polls.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Accountability Act focuses on racial discrimination in Congressional redistricting. That law would force any proposed Congressional redistricting to be "precleared" to ensure they're drawn equitably.

Schumer said Thursday night that changing Senate rules to get the legislation passed is still on the table.