Why Democrats Should Not Settle For A Slimmed Down For The People Act

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This article is part of TPM Cafe, TPM's home for opinion and news analysis. Last week, in one of the most consequential speeches of his presidency…
This article is part of TPM Cafe, TPM's home for opinion and news analysis.

Last week, in one of the most consequential speeches of his presidency, Joe Biden lambasted the spread of voter suppression laws in states across the country.

"Democracy or autocracy, that's what it comes down to," the President explained. In this way, Biden accurately depicted the stakes of the GOP's ongoing efforts to make it harder to vote and easier to overturn elections.

The struggle over the right to vote has taken center stage in the halls of Congress in recent months. After its adoption in the House, the Senate is now considering the For The People Act (S.1), the passage of which the President called a "national imperative." If enacted into law, S.1 would not only thwart anti-voter tactics — it would make casting a ballot easier, more accessible and more secure.

The For The People Act has been stalled in the Senate since last month. Democrats attempted to begin debate on the bill on June 22, but Republican Senators filibustered the motion to proceed, thwarting its progress. Fortunately, S.1 still has a real chance of passage — despite Republican efforts to kill it. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made it clear that he reserves the right to bring the bill back to the Senate floor at any point, and recently indicated that he may do so soon.

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The hurdles remain significant, of course. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) has said he opposes the bill as written, but grassroots activists have brought him back to the negotiating table and he even voted to proceed to debate with all his…
Nicole Lafond
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