Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are planning to meet with President Joe Biden on Friday to discuss a path forward on voting rights legislation, a person familiar with the plans told CNN.
As lawmakers have been focused on infrastructure legislation, Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, have been working to craft a revised voting rights bill compromise aimed at continuing their work on the issue after Senate Republicans blocked an earlier bill from advancing.
But while Democrats have been pushing for a voting rights bill, the high 60-vote threshold in the Senate and little GOP support for the legislation means it has almost no chance of passing.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat and key member of the party’s caucus, told CNN earlier Thursday that members of his party are not pressuring him to change his mind on maintaining the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold — and he says he won’t.
“Everyone understands,” said Manchin. “They’ve been very, very, very, very respectful of that. They know where I am, and I told them … we’d lose democracy if we lose the filibuster.”
Schumer said in a tweet Thursday night that “The fight in the Senate to protect voting rights will continue!” and included a link to an article on Democrats’ new voting rights bill proposal efforts.
A Democratic source familiar described the efforts by Schumer and the other Democratic senators as picking up where senators left off last month when they voted to advance a bill but they didn’t have final legislative text.
Friday’s meeting comes as civil rights activists and voting rights groups are intensifying pressure on Congress and Biden to advance federal voting rights legislation as a bulwark against an array of new laws in Republican-controlled states that make it harder to vote.
They want Biden to exert pressure on Democratic holdouts on the filibuster to allow a pair of federal voting bills to pass the Senate by a simple majority vote. The bills, activists say, will counteract efforts by Republicans to restrict voting access as former President Donald Trump and his allies persist with false claims of a rigged 2020 presidential election.
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