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For the People Act election bill deadlocked in Senate panel



On Tuesday, a key Senate panel deadlocked a bill that would bring in sweeping reforms on voter’s rights. There were hours of discussion and heated debates with barbed attacks by both the Democrats and Republicans. The Senate Rules Committee final vote was evenly split at 9-9 on the For the People Act. This bill is a top priority bill for the Democrats before the 2022 midterms. The bill also assumes additional importance as Republican dominated states have passed sweeping restrictive bills that curb mail in ballots, drop box votes and more.


Although the tie in the vote has effectively stopped the formal advancement of the bill to the floor, the Democrats are looking at several options by means of which they can bring this reform bill to a senate vote. Both Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is the Majority Leader in the Senate and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) who is the chairwoman of the panel are determined to move the bill forward.


The elections voting bill was marked up the Senate for the first time on Tuesday and reached a deadlock. Senate Democrats will meet on Thursday to discuss their strategy to advance the bill. This may be considered as a preview as Schumer is determined to bring the bring on the floor, perhaps by August.


An analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice reported that legislatures in 47 states have introduced 361 bills with “restrictive provisions” as of March 24. Chuck Schumer said that that the Republican led restrictive state bills banning the other side from voting is what dictators do while Mitch McConnell said that the Democrats wanted to rewrite the ground rules of American politics for partisan benefits.


Republican fought back on almost all the provisions in the bill and nearly 180 amendments were filed by the Republicans.


There were a few moments of levity and Sen. Ted Cruz elicited ironic and genuine laughter. Tensions were high as senators traded barbs over the 2016 and 2020 elections. Cruz argued that Democrats “insisted for four years that Hillary won and the election was stolen.”


Klobucher laughingly interrupted him and said, “You must not have been in the same Electoral College room as me.” She mentioned that they should fast forward to the day when Sen. Cruz was himself “contesting the Electoral College.” She added that he was leading and that he was “one of the leaders of the effort.”


Sen. Ted Cruz always adds a bit of extra… to fraught situations. He was one of the senators who questioned the electoral college vote which showed Biden as the presidential winner in the November 2020 elections. The questioning of the results by former President Trump and some of the GOP resulted in the insurrection on the Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump supporters violently stormed the building when Congress was in session.


Sen. Cruz also took off to warm Cancun leaving his Texan constituents to freeze in unprecedented winter storms last year which led to long power cuts and huge drinking water shortages. He ostensibly went to drop his family at a luxury resort in Mexico, leaving behind their dog, Snowflake. Later at a Republican conference in Orlando he said that Cancun was warmer than Orlando.



So, his comments on the Senate on “stolen elections” which parrot the sayings of the leader of the GOP were bound to elicit a response whether it was genuine or ironic laughter.


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