On Tuesday, President Joe Biden gave a major speech on voting rights. This was his first speech after 17 states have passed major restrictive voting laws, to date. He directly mentioned Trump and said that “The Big Lie is just that — a big lie.” He asked his Republican friends to help prevent efforts that undermine elections and the right to vote. He fell short of denouncing the filibuster.
Speaking at the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, he directly addressed the reasons why the GOP had been bringing in restrictive voting rules before the 2022 midterms as it hoped to turn both the House and the Senate.
Biden said that in America, if a person loses the election, they accept the results. They don’t call facts “fake”, nor do they try to bring down the American experiment just because they were unhappy. He said that was not “statesmanship” but was “selfishness.” He also said that it was not “democracy” but was the denial of the right to vote.
Biden reiterated the importance of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and asked Congress to pass these acts. He also said that the Department of Justice would challenge the restrictive laws that have been passed by several states which have a GOP majority in the House and Senate.
Biden’s speech has come in the backdrop of Texan Democrats fleeing to Washington D.C. in a final attempt to block a new restrictive law that the GOP controlled state legislature in Texas is planning to pass but is unable to do so as it lacks a quorum with state Democrats staying in D.C.
Biden has spoken of making voting rights a central focus of his agenda. He said that they (the GOP) want to make it so hard and inconvenient that people don’t vote. He also compared the laws to a 21st century Jim Crow assault, called it unrelenting and said that they were going to challenge it. However, there has been no clear-cut proposal on how President Biden and the Democratic administration is going to do so.