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Texas Democrats to Make Their Case on Voting Rights Bill

  • June 15, 2021

Texas Democrats have pleaded for the federal cavalry to ride in, and they largely will be preaching to the converted. Forty-nine Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have signed on as co-sponsors of the measure, also known as S1, the broad voting rights, presidential ethics and campaign finance bill that is slated to face a test vote in the Senate later this month.

The 50th vote is the problem; Mr. Manchin has said in no uncertain terms that he will not vote for the bill, nor will he vote to end the legislative filibuster in the Senate, an equally necessary step, since the voter protection measure will never get enough Republican support to overcome a filibuster with 60 votes.

Other senators have expressed qualms as well. Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he had issues with the breadth of the bill, and would favor jettisoning some parts of it, especially a provision that would begin taxpayer financing of elections. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, a Democrat who could face a tough re-election fight next year if the state’s popular Republican governor, Chris Sununu, challenges her, has also been mum about a final vote.

But Democrats say first things first, and the first step is to try to get Mr. Manchin to co-sponsor the bill and present at least the veneer of a united Democratic front.

Of course, there is no guarantee he will show up to the luncheon.

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