Senate Republicans recently managed to filibuster voting rights legislation for the third time this year.
According to reports, the Republicans in the Senate filibustered voting rights legislation to override new voting restrictions in Republican-run states. The decision came after months of negotiations among Democrats to craft a compromise voting rights bill.
Sen. Joe Manchin failed to live up to his promise
Sen. Joe Manchin was once confident that he could get the Republicans' support on the matter. However, he couldn't convince a single Senate Republican to support them or even debate the bill.
"Let there be no mistake: Senate Republicans blocking debate today is an implicit endorsement of the horrid new voter suppression and election subversion laws pushed in Republican states across the country," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said via the Huffington Post.
Democrats struggling to pass two bills
Senate Democrats now have to decide whether to change or retain the Senate's filibuster rules to provide Democratic leaders with a path forward. There is also an ongoing debate about whether Democrats should change the filibuster rules to pass the Freedom of Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and more.
According to US News, the Freedom to Vote Act expands voting by mail and early voting. It also implements automatic and same-day voter registration and prevents name purges from voter rolls. The Freedom of Vote Act also establishes Election Day as a federal holiday, among many others.
Additionally, the legislation also imposes state voter ID requirements to authenticate the identities of voters. Following Wednesday's procedural vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York vowed to have an open amendment process if Republicans would agree to proceed to debate the bill.
Activists marched to the White House
However, Republicans are opposed to what the Senate Democrats have been fighting for. Prior to Wednesday's procedural vote, a group of 100 activists flocked to the White House to urge President Joe Biden to do something about the voting rights legislation.
According to initial reports, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris supported the legislation and said that it's one of their priorities. However, they both have not explicitly backed the changes to filibuster rules that could've otherwise allowed Democrats to pass the Freedom to Vote Act.
Virginia Kase Solomon, the League of Women Voters CEO, urged Biden to act fast because the POTUS can get things done when the issue is important to him.
In March, the president responded to questions regarding the 60-vote threshold. He said that filibuster is being abused in a gigantic way. The POTUS also said that the rule should be reverted to a talking filibuster.
"We're going to get a lot done. And if we have to - if there's complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we'll have to go beyond what I'm talking about," he said via NBC News.
However, the activists who marched to the White House think that Biden has not exercised his power to move political will months after making the statement.