• Zulema Herrera Herrera

Democrat Blocked Progression Of Bill Aimed To Protect Voting Rights

By Zulema Herrera

Despite a meeting with civil rights leaders who were pushing the "For the People Act" on Tuesday, Senator and Democrat Joe Manchin remained opposed to the bill. He went against fellow Democrats supporting this bill, making it more difficult for it to pass.

Manchin, who represents the state of West Virginia, wrote an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail before the meeting with the civil rights leaders, stating his stance against the voting rights bill. He said that Republicans and Democrats need to reach this type of legislation together to prevent "dividing and destroying the republic."

The "For the People Act" was passed by the House of Representatives in March 2021 and was introduced to the Senate on March 17th. The formation of the bill was to counter other bills backed by Republicans which further restricts voting rights such as the SB 7 bill passed in the House in May.

H.R.1 Bill, For the People Act Summary:

  • Address election integrity and security, and the ethics of the three branches of government

  • Expand and reform voter access and voter registration

  • Expand prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals

  • Requiring disclosure on campaign-related funding, spending, and advertising

  • Require the President, Vice President, and certain candidates to disclose 10 years of tax returns

Manchin has instead urged his caucus to focus on the H.R. 4 Voting Rights Act bill introduced by the late Rep. John Lewis. This bill, according to AP News, is aimed to fix a specific problem. It addresses a 2013 Supreme Court hearing which made it hard for the federal government to prevent racially discriminatory voting laws and redistricting proposals.

However, House Speaker Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues Tuesday that the two bills are different; the John Lewis Bill has yet to be introduced to Congress.

"H.R. 4(John Lewis Bill) must be passed," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "but it will not be ready until the fall, and it is not a substitute for" the For the People Act.

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