'Your vote matters': Harris announces $25 million DNC voting rights campaign
The vice president said the 'I Will Vote' campaign is aimed at all eligible voters, regardless of their party affiliation."This campaign is grounded in the firm belief that everyone’s vote matters. That your vote matters," Harris said, referring to an expansion of the "I Will Vote" effort. She made the announcement at Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington and her alma mater.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of left-leaning organizations are asking Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to schedule a new vote this month on Democrats' sweeping voting and elections bill, a top priority for the party that Republicans blocked from debate last month. © Provided by Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 12, 2021, as the Senate resumes work after the Independence Day recess. Schumer said Friday that he wants his chamber to vote on pivotal budget and infrastructure legislation before lawmakers break for their August recess, and warned he may delay that summer break to allow more time for work on President Joe Biden's top domestic goals. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
In a letter sent to the New York Democrat on Monday, the groups urged him to once again bring the bill to the Senate floor. But this time, they are asking Senate Democrats to weaken filibuster rules, which require 60 votes to advance most legislation, and push the measure through on a party-line basis, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking 51st vote.
Schumer warns August recess in danger as infrastructure work piles up
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned colleagues in a letter Friday to be prepared to work long nights, over the weekends and into the scheduled August recess so that they can finish work on a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution."My intention for this work period is for the Senate to consider both the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions, which is the first step for passing legislation through the reconciliation process," Schumer wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter. "Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do.
“The only thing standing in the way is the outdated and abused filibuster,” states the letter, which was signed by roughly 90 different groups, including the good-government group Common Cause, Our Revolution, the League of Conservation Voters, the Communications Workers of America union and MoveOn.
The letter is one piece of a broader summer campaign to pressure congressional Democrats to change the filibuster and pass their voting bill, which they've touted as a powerful counterweight to an effort in Republican-controlled states to adopt new voting restrictions.
Congressional offices have been flooded with calls, and numerous rallies have been held.
On Monday, a group of Democratic state lawmakers from Texas, where a special session of the legislature is underway to enact voting restrictions, fled the state for Washington, D.C. Their aim was twofold: to deny Texas Republicans a quorum needed to conduct business and to shine a light on the state-level efforts.
This week: Congress starts summer sprint
Lawmakers are starting to return to Washington, D.C., for a weeks-long summer sprint with some of their biggest priorities hanging in the balance. The Senate will start to return on Monday from a two-week July 4 recess. The House will return next week after a three-week break. Democrats have two big priorities heading into the crucial summer session: Infrastructure and trying to find a path forward on voting rights, after a bill stalled last month in the Senate.Democrats still need to work out major questions on the strategy for getting President Biden's sweeping spending plan through Congress with razor-thin majorities and competing factions.
Last week, a group of civil rights activists met with President Joe Biden about the issue and publicly called on the White House afterward to get more involved.
“There is absolutely growing pressure across the country to eliminate the filibuster as a weapon (Senate Minority Leader Mitch) McConnell can use to block progress,” said Eli Zupnick, a spokesperson for the group Fix Our Senate, which advocates for filibuster changes and helped organize the letter.
They face a tough road ahead. There isn't enough support in the Senate Democratic caucus to eliminate the filibuster, with moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema among those opposed, but most are open to changing the Senate's rules. Without changing the filibuster, it is unlikely that Democrats will be able to advance the bill in the face of unified Republican opposition.
Biden's White House has characterized the issue as “the fight of his presidency.” But Biden, too, opposes eliminating the filibuster.
Left-leaning groups pressure Schumer to act on voting bill
Dozens of left-leaning organizations are asking Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to schedule a new vote this month on Democrats' sweeping voting and elections bill, a top priority for the party that Republicans blocked from debate last month. © Provided by Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 12, 2021, as the Senate resumes work after the Independence Day recess.
"The President’s view continues to be aligned with what he has said in the past, which is that he has not supported the elimination of the filibuster because it has been used as often the other way around,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Meanwhile, the window to pass and implement the bill before the 2022 midterm elections is closing.
Democrats took unified control of Washington in January and made passing the voting bill a top priority. Their measure, known as the For the People Act, would touch on virtually every aspect of how elections are conducted, striking down hurdles to voting that advocates view as the civil rights fight of the era, while also curbing the influence of money in politics and limiting partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts.
Schumer has said multiple times that failure to pass the measure “is not an option."
But the bill languished in the Senate for months after swiftly passing the House. Republicans, who universally oppose it, argue it is overreach that would bring about a massive federal intrusion into the way states conduct elections.
The group behind the letter echoed Schumer's calls for action.
“We agree with your repeated promise that ‘failure is not an option’ when it comes to voting rights,” the letter states. “To ensure progress in the face of partisan obstruction, we, the undersigned organizations, urge you to hold another vote on voting rights legislation like the For The People Act before the August recess.”
On The Money: Schumer pressured from all sides on spending strategy | GOP hammers HUD chief over sluggish rental aid | Democrat proposes taxes on commercial space flights .
Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, the first financial newsletter composed in space. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at [email protected] or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: [email protected] and [email protected] Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.THE BIG DEAL-Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.