Republicans in the U.S. Senate block federal voting laws that would override Texas’ restrictions


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WASHINGTON – US Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn joined the Senate Republicans in blocking a federal voting bill that would replace portions of Texas’s new electoral law on Wednesday.

The law on freedom of choice – a scaled-down version of a broader attempt to pass a federal voting law called the For the People Act – marks yet another attempt by Democrats in Congress to strengthen and expand voting rights across the country. These efforts are in direct response to new election restrictions enacted by several Republican-led state legislatures, including Texas.


With 49 votes to 51, the bill missed the 60-vote majority needed to move the debate on the bill and avoid a Senate filibuster. It came after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that it was his “hope and expectation” that no Republicans would vote for the latest version of the voting law.

In September, governor. Greg Abbott signed a law restricting counties’ ability to expand choices. The new Texas law tightens the requirements for postal voting, increases the protection for partisan election observers and resets local voting initiatives such as ballot boxes and drive-through votes.

The Free Voting Act should lift these restrictions, establish a national standard for voter access, establish automatic voter registration, and repeal various government measures that hinder access to the ballot box. In addition, the draft law would have strengthened the regulatory powers of the Federal Electoral Commission, tightened the restrictions on foreign influence on elections and changed the regulations on campaign financing.


Republican lawmakers say the election restrictions are necessary to preserve the integrity of the elections and reduce electoral fraud – an echo of former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud in the 2020 elections.Trump’s own Attorney General Bill Barr said there were none Evidence of nationwide election fraud, and in Texas, a State Department official said the 2020 elections were “smooth and safe”.

GOP lawmakers also argue that states should be able to set their own voting rules.

Earlier this year, Cruz blocked a Senate vote on the For the People Act, which found in the Senate that the bill “would constitute a federal takeover of elections” and was a “massive takeover by Democrats”.

Congressional Democrats and suffrage advocates claim the recent election restrictions are partisan attempts to incapacitate colored voters and suppress votes in urban areas.


Earlier this week, Rep. Colin Allred signed by Dallas Letter along with 39 other House Democrats, addressed to the Senate, insisting that the House pass the Freedom to Vote Act.

“America is strongest when our democratic institutions are strong, when they reflect and exude the trust of our people. The Freedom to Vote Act can strengthen our democracy and bring Americans of all political stripes back to the marketplace, where the vitality of our ideas and experiences can be shared with respect, dynamism and hope for the future, ”wrote the members.

US Democratic MPs. Eddie Bernice Johnson from Dallas, Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston, Sylvia Garcia from Houston, Lizzie Fletcher from Houston, Filemon Vela from Brownsville, Al green from Houston, Vicente Gonzalez from McAllen, Joaquin Castro from San Antonio, Lloyd Doggett from Austin and Veronica Escobar from El Paso were also among the signatures.


The Democrats in Congress also got on that John R. Lewis Act to Promote Voting Rights to codify the protection of voting rights nationwide. The Senate bill, due to be voted on, would also lift state-level voting restrictions in Texas and strengthen protection for colored voters by restoring federal oversight over new political districts known as preclearance.

After Wednesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his plans to submit the bill for consideration as early as next week. However, given the staunch opposition of the GOP, it is unlikely that there will ever be a final vote.

After Wednesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his plans to submit the bill for consideration as early as next week. However, given the staunch opposition of the GOP, it is unlikely that it will ever get beyond the Senate.


The failure of the bill will likely renew calls for an exception or “carve-out” to the filibuster for voting rights legislation. However, any procedural changes would have to be accepted by Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, moderate Democrats who have openly opposed the elimination of filibusters.

Disclosure: The Texas Secretary of State was a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization funded in part by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the journalism of the Tribune. Find a complete one List of them here.

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