Joe Biden pushes for voting rights law amid Republican opposition | World News

PHILADELPHIA: President Joe Biden, under pressure from US civil rights leaders, said on Tuesday it is a “national imperative” to pass sweeping voting rights legislation that has stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition.
Numerous Republican-controlled states have approved laws that either restrict voting or change election rules following Republican former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.
The voting rights legislation sought by Biden faces an uphill battle in Congress, where his fellow Democrats have been stymied by Senate Republicans. Biden’s focus on the subject, even if the legislation fails, allows him to rally support among Democratic voters as his party works to maintain control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.
During a speech in Philadelphia, Biden made a searing critique of what he called efforts to undermine voting rights, likening those efforts to past laws that prevented Black people and women from voting in the United States.
“They want to make it so hard … that they hope people don’t vote at all. That’s what this is about,” Biden said of those efforts.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, at least 17 states this year have enacted laws that restrict voting access, with more being considered.
Biden’s party and civil rights groups have opposed these voting restrictions, which critics have said are aimed at Black, Hispanic and younger voters, who have helped elect Democrats. Many Republicans have justified new restrictions as a means to combat voter fraud, a phenomenon that election experts have said is rare in the United States.
Senate Republicans blocked the Democratic-backed voting rights bill that would expand opportunities to vote before Election Day, make certain campaign contributions more transparent and change the process for drawing the boundaries of House of Representatives districts. Republicans said the measure violates the authority of states to set their own election laws.
The Republican National Committee pushed back against Biden’s criticisms.
“After Democrats failed to pass their federal takeover of our elections … Biden is continuing their dishonest attacks on commonsense election integrity efforts,” RNC spokesperson Danielle Álvarez said in a statement. “Meanwhile, Republicans are engaged in state-led efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support these laws.”
Biden chose a city heavy with symbolism to make the speech. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both signed at Independence Hall, just steps away from the National Constitution Center, where he will make his remarks.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, at least 17 states this year have enacted laws that restrict voting access, with more being considered.
Biden’s party and civil rights groups have opposed these voting restrictions, which critics have said are aimed at Black, Hispanic and younger voters, who have helped elect Democrats. Many Republicans have justified new restrictions as a means to combat voter fraud, a phenomenon that election experts have said is rare in the United States.

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