Senate to vote on Freedom to Vote Act next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer says

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Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday lawmakers will vote on the Freedom to Vote Act next week. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday lawmakers will vote on the Freedom to Vote Act next week. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The Senate will vote on the Freedom to Vote Act next week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday.

"Today, I'm announcing that the Senate will vote on moving forward on the Freedom to Vote Act on Wednesday," Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted. "This is consequential voting rights legislation. It would establish commonsense standards for our democracy and help fight suppressive voting laws."

Schumer also announced the vote next week in a letter to his caucus, NBC News reported.

"We cannot allow conservative-controlled states to double down on their regressive and subversive voting bills," Schumer said in the letter. "The Freedom to Vote Act is the legislation that will right the ship of our democracy."

The Freedom to Vote Act would make Election Day a legal public holiday, require same-day registration at all polling locations by 2024, and require states to allow a minimum of 15 days early voting.

It also contains the vast majority of the key voting provisions of the For the People Act, another piece of legislation designed to confront voter suppression, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The Freedom To Vote Act also provides more flexibility for states and election officials on how to adopt the requirements, though it scales back some campaign finance provisions, according to the nonprofit law and public policy institute.

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a Democratic holdout in the vote For the People Act, has negotiated with Republicans for the Freedom to Vote Act, which will also need the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome the filibuster and advance.

The new legislation comes amid pressure to protect voting rights in states that have passed or are considering laws to restrict voting after Georgia, Texas and Florida have already passed such laws. The laws appear to be a response to former President Donald Trump's debunked and false claims of rampant voting fraud in the presidential election last fall.

President Joe Biden compared new laws enacted mostly by Republican-controlled Southern states to past discriminatory voting laws like poll taxes, literacy tests and voter intimidation tactics by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan in a July speech in Philadelphia.

Manchin broke with his party in June to announce he would not support the For the People Act. Manchin said he would support the narrower John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named after the civil rights icon and late congressional representative instead, but he would not support weakening or eliminating the filibuster to pass the voting rights measure.

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