Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that the Senate will be voting on the Freedom to Vote Act, a slimmed-down version of the Democrats’ For the People Act, next week.
Schumer stated in a letter to his caucus members that he intends to ask for a cloture vote in the Senate on Monday evening, The Hill reports.
To overcome the procedural obstacle of 60 votes, Democrats would need the support of ten Republicans. That’s very improbable, though Schumer cited moderate Sen. Joe Manchin’s efforts to reach out to GOP senators as an example.
Manchin has caused disquiet among his Democratic colleagues in recent months by refusing to endorse a number of legislative goals, including President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending bill.
Furthermore, though Manchin has shown approval for the Democrats’ other voting rights measure, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the senator has been hesitant to endorse the For the People Act and has declined to support creating a filibuster exemption for the subject.
Due to a lack of unanimity within their caucus, a group of Senate Democrats drafted a new bill that borrowed many policy elements from H.R. 1 while restricting the extent of federal supervision.
The Freedom to Vote bill would make Election Day a public holiday and provide all voters with at least 15 early voting days and same-day enrollment.
Furthermore, this bill would mandate that states implement automatic voter registration and that Americans with criminal records regain their right to vote after their sentences are completed.
Political gerrymandering in congressional districts would likewise be forbidden.
Manchin has expressed optimism in the possibility of a bipartisan compromise to voting rights, however, there is no sign that Republicans are prepared to start working on either plan.
Since the commencement of the year, hundreds of measures designed to make voting more challenging have been presented in GOP-controlled state capitols throughout the country.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 19 similar measures have passed in 33 states in 2021.