Washington D.C. Bureau

Democrats work to rally support for voting rights bill


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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Advocates of federal voting rights laws led a rally outside of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, urging the Senate to pass a voting rights bill that is currently being blocked by Republicans and some Democrats.

“The right to vote, the cornerstone of our democracy, is under attack,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said Wednesday.

Democratic senators from Gillibrand to Georgia’s Raphael Warnock joined groups urging the Senate to pass the “For the People Act” to increase voter access and reform campaign finance laws.

“It’s so important that we not miss this moment,” Warnock said.

Progress is stalled in the Senate by those who oppose the federal overhaul of state elections.

“The framers of the constitution wanted the states to chart their own course, not Washington bureaucrats,” Sen. John Cornyn said.

The Texas Republican opposes the bill — as does West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. Without Manchin’s support, the bill’s fate is in jeopardy.

But Senator Warnock said he’s not about to let this act fail.

“There are conversations right now happening in the US Senate,” Warnock told Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer. “There’ll be some back and forth. Some sausage making but, in the end, if the people can’t have their voice in a democracy, it’s not a democracy.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said they’ll continue to work with Democratic leadership on a path forward.

“We’re going to use the White House. As a convener, we’re going to use the bully pulpit,” Psaki said.

Despite limited support from some of his own colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Senate will vote on the bill in June.

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