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The White House Tuesday shielded President Joe Biden from the failed attempt by Senate Democrats to federalize state election rules.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed the S. 1 the “For the People Act” forward in the Senate on Tuesday, knowing full-well that Republicans would keep the bill from advancing without a 60 vote majority.
The Senate bill would federalize congressional elections across the country, requiring voting changes such as automatic voter registration, protecting illegal immigrants from prosecution if they voted, register minors to vote, require early voting, and establishing nationwide vote-by-mail without voter ID. The bill would also allow ballots to be counted ten days after Election Day.
President Joe Biden was kept safe from the political fallout, while Vice President Kamala Harris was sent to join the display of righteous indignation from Democrats after the bill failed to advance with a partisan vote of 50-50.
Biden did not even address the issue publicly on camera on Tuesday, choosing instead to hold an event at the White House to highlight the upcoming fire and drought season in the summer.
He concluded the short event Tuesday afternoon and ignored shouted questions from reporters about the voting rights bill.
Harris was sent to lead the proceedings in the Senate instead, as Biden tasked her with taking the lead on voting rights at the beginning of June.
Harris not only led the proceedings in the Senate but joined reporters on camera to talk about the issue after the bill failed.
“The bottom line is that the president and I are very clear … the fight is not over,” Harris said to reporters afterward.
Kamala Harris tonight: The bottom line is the president and I support the SB 1. We support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. And the fight is not over. pic.twitter.com/K0Uq40X7V4
— Jazmine Ulloa (@jazmineulloa) June 22, 2021
The White House did not allow Biden to speak on camera to address the Democrats’ effort, arguing that he had already spoken in support of Democrat efforts to change voting laws.
“We’ll put out a statement from him at the conclusion of the vote today,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the daily press briefing. “And I expect you’ll hear more from him in the coming days as well.”
The White House released a pre-prepared statement from Biden that was just over 200 words long.
“I’ll have more to say on this next week. But let me be clear. This fight is far from over—far from over,” the statement read. “I’ve been engaged in this work my whole career, and we are going to be ramping up our efforts to overcome again—for the people, for our very democracy.”