The Vote on Voting

Sen. Chuck Schumer is expected to force another vote on elections and voting rights legislation as early as this week. Schumer knows he doesn’t have the votes to move forward on the measure. When Republicans block the bill, Schumer will apparently launch his effort to change the Senate’s procedural rules—now with support from President Biden and Vice President Harris, who are headed to Georgia today to advocate for the legislation and some rule changes. 

It currently appears Schumer does not have the support of Sens. Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema to make meaningful changes to Senate rules or perhaps any changes at all. So while small changes may be made to Senate rules through this process, those changes are highly unlikely to result in any ability to pass voting rights legislation. 

Schumer is under enormous pressure to pass voting rights legislation. Easier said than done under the circumstances. As states enact more stringent voting rights requirements, many fear that will make it increasingly difficult for Democrats to get elected. Democrats traditionally rely on votes from more urban and minority voters, many of whom struggle the most with restrictive voting laws. 

Additionally, progressives view voting rights as the civil rights struggle of the modern era. Much like with Build Back Better, Schumer is struggling to reach a deal with Manchin and others which will make or break a long year in advance of the 2022 midterms.