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Psaki calls Joe Manchin’s voting rights compromise a ‘step forward’

Jen Psaki says White House will look for a different path if the voting rights Senate vote fails tomorrow and calls Joe Manchin’s compromise a ‘step forward’

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Sen. Joe Manchin’s voting rights proposal a ‘step forward’ 
  • The Senate is slated to vote to begin debate on the issue Tuesday, though 10 Republicans would have to vote for the motion to proceed 
  • ‘If the vote is unsuccessful tomorrow, we suspect it will prompt a new conversation about the path forward and we’ll see where that goes,’ Psaki said
  • Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and key swing vote, is against the ‘For the People’ act, but backs provisions like making Election Day a holiday 
  • He’s pitched a compromise proposal that includes part of the House-passed bill, but also includes a voter ID provision, which Democrats have softened on  

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Sen. Joe Manchin’s voting rights proposal a ‘step forward,’ as the Senate is slated to vote to begin debate on the issue Tuesday. 

‘It’s a step forward,’ she said during Monday’s press briefing. ‘We don’t expect there to be a magical 10 votes. I’m not suggesting that. But just two weeks ago, there were questions about whether Democrats would be aligned.’ 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday afternoon that he would have the Senate vote Tuesday on a motion to proceed, which would allow the body to begin debating a voting rights compromise. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House would continue to push for voting rights legislation even if a test vote fails in the Senate Tuesday. Psaki also said Sen. Joe Manchin’s compromise idea was a ‘step forward’ 

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has floated a compromise proposal for a voting rights bill that the White House said Monday was a 'step forward'

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has floated a compromise proposal for a voting rights bill that the White House said Monday was a ‘step forward’ 

‘It’s not a vote on any particular policy, it’s not a vote on this bill or that bill, it’s a vote on whether the Senate should simply debate the issue of voting rights,’ Schumer explained Monday.  

That motion will need a filibuster-proof 60 votes, meaning it’s likely to fail.   

‘If the vote is unsuccessful tomorrow, we suspect it will prompt a new conversation about the path forward and we’ll see where that goes,’ Psaki predicted.  

In an op-ed earlier this month, Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat and important Senate swing vote, announced he was against the House-passed ‘For the People Act,’ essentially dooming that bill as written. 

However, he expressed support for aspects of the legislation including making Election Day a holiday, mandating early voting, creating automatic voter registation through the DMV and ending gerrymandering. 

Manchin, however, has expressed support for voter ID requirements, which could be a poison pill for some Democrats. 

That being said, The Washington Post reported that some prominent Democrats have been softening on voter ID. 

Stacey Abrams, a former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate credited for her state’s voting rights push, slapped down the idea that Democrats were against voters having to prove their identity. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he will have the Senate vote Tuesday on a motion to proceed that would open debate on voting rights legislation

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he will have the Senate vote Tuesday on a motion to proceed that would open debate on voting rights legislation 

‘That’s one of the fallacies of Republican talking points that have been deeply disturbing,’ Abrams said last week on CNN. ‘No one has ever objected to having to prove who you are to vote. It’s been part of our nation’s history since the inception of voting.’   

Abrams expressed that she’s been against Republican-pushed voter ID provisions that would restrict voting – such as limiting the kinds of ID to only driver’s licenses and not, for example, student IDs.  

The Manchin proposal, however, is less strict than most backed by Republicans in recent years.

Voters could use something like a utility bill as their identification.   

With a less restrictive voter ID provision in place at the federal level, The Post pointed out that it could actually reduce the barriers to vote in certain states. 

Psaki wouldn’t say if President Joe Biden would support any sort of voter ID.   

‘I’m not going to go through different individual pieces of the package,’ she answered when asked Monday about it specifically. ‘It’s a compromise.’ 

‘The president – there are components out there of course that I think universally among most Democrats in the country – an extension of early voting, making Election Day a law, we would support,’ she continued. 

‘This is a step forward. It should be seen as an incremental step forward. We’ll see what’s the next step in Congress,’ Psaki added. 

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