"We're working to see what we can do with it, but it won't be a substitute for state voting standards. Because some states would just say, 'Well, I don't want the money," Klobuchar told Politico. House negotiators are also involved in the talks, and she said they are considering $ 15 billion to $ 20 billion for election infrastructure. “It's really important that we have a strategy that we can implement,” a Senate Democrat told Politico on condition of anonymity, rather than “we come back every week and say, 'Have you changed your mind, Joe Manchin? '”A potential trouble, thanks to Manchin and Sinema, were both of their earlier statements that $ 3.5 trillion is too much.
Time is of the essence as states will begin redistributing districts in a matter of days – redesigning Congressional district lines based on the new census, expected to be released August 12th. The For the People Act contains provisions to prevent partisan Gerrymanders, and Manchin has indicated that he wishes to keep those provisions. Sinema did not say what it would or would not support.
"Many of us in the caucus have a deep sense of urgency," Warnock told the New York Times. “We are witnessing a blatant assault on voting rights – not just repression, but an attempt to overturn the results at the local level. To this end, Klobuchar, together with Sens. Alex Padilla, Jon Ossoff and Jeff Merkley, presented a new bill to "prevent election subversion and protect election administrators".
"Across the country we see election administrators and officials faced with a barrage of threats and abusive behavior from those trying to overturn the election results," said Klobuchar. “We need to respond directly to these threats to protect those who are on the front lines defending our democracy. This legislation is key to warding off attempts to undermine our elections and ensuring that our democracy works for every American. ”According to Klobuchar's office, the bill would:
Extend protection for election administrators by extending existing bans on intimidating or threatening voters to include election officials, counting ballots, campaigning and confirming election results. It is currently a federal crime to intervene in the voting process and this would make it clear that the criminal sanction extends to the counting and certification process as well.
Strengthening the protection of federal election papers and election infrastructure in order to prevent election officials or others from endangering the preservation and security of the ballots cast.
Offer judicial review of election papers by allowing the Department of Justice and candidates to file lawsuits to ensure compliance with election papers requirements.
This follows a law introduced by Ossoff on Wednesday that makes voting in federal elections a legal right and gives citizens the opportunity to fight for their vote in court.
None of this is guaranteed to work, and some of it is performative in response to increasing pressure from activists. This pressure cannot ease. It also has to come from above. President Biden has the power of the tyrant's pulpit and must use it to save democracy. As for his agenda, if Republican voter suppression in the states doesn't stop before November 2022, he won't have a House or Senate to do the rest of his agenda for the first term. He will not get a second term either, and without these fundamental reforms he could be the last democratic president in generations.