Top Democrats call for voting rights legislation on Jan. 6 anniversary

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Top Democrats are calling for expanding voting rights on the one-year anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riots.

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Why this matters: Democrats, including President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, want to build momentum to broaden voting rights legislation on the anniversary of the deadly day.

Running the news: “The lies that fueled the anger and madness we saw in this place have not diminished,” Biden said on the floor of the US Capitol on Thursday.

  • “That’s why we have to stand firm, firm and steadfast in our defense of the right to vote, and make that vote count,” Biden said.
  • Calls for the expansion of voting rights echoed throughout the morning, with Harris saying: “We have to pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate. We can’t sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defending our democracy.” “
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) invoked a similar sentiment, saying, “We must pass legislation, effective legislation, to protect our democracy, to protect the right to vote.”
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state of play: The comment comes as Senate Republicans consider the possibility of reforming the Electoral Counting Act of 1887, while broader federal voting rights legislation remains blocked in the Senate, Nerdshala’ Sofia Cai reports.

  • Meanwhile, Schumer has vowed to vote on changes to Senate rules by January 17. Schumer wants to bypass the Republican hurdle and John R. Lewis wants the Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act passed, Nerdshala Alaina Trein reports.

What are they saying: Schumer called efforts to reform the Electoral Counting Act “inadequate” and “offensive” in a speech on the Senate floor.

  • Schumer said, “Senator McConnell’s plan to reform the Electoral Count Act will do little more than codify the vice president’s formal role in counting the Electoral College votes, effectively guaranteeing that partisan state legislatures can support the election.” without fear,” Schumer said.
  • “It can’t be about one party versus the other, it shouldn’t be. The right to vote has always been bipartisan … This chamber has to go through major votes on both sides of the aisle.”
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go in:

  • Biden blames Trump for January 6 capital riots
  • Obama: “Our democracy is at greater risk today”
  • In pictures: An hour-by-hour record of the January 6 Capitol riots
  • Schumer: “If anyone had a gun… who knows what would have happened”

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