LIVE: If Joe Biden Has To Tell The Senate To Pass Voting Rights One More Damn Time ...
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are in Atlanta this afternoon to talk about voting rights, and reportedly they're not planning to fuck around.
Politico says that his trip is "meant to assure activists that he’s ready for the fight."
“The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation,” Biden will say, according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks provided by the White House. “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is where will the institution of [the] United States Senate stand?” [...]
His address comes days after addressing the nation on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. During that address, Biden said that American democracy is still under threat as Trump and his allies continue to spread lies about election fraud and insurrection itself. That speech was described by White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond as just the start of Biden’s push to “galvanize the votes” for voting rights legislation.
The Atlanta speech is the second act.
Unfortunately for the administration, according to Politico Playbook this morning, it sounds like some voting rights leaders are about at their wits' end and want to see fewer speeches, more doing, so some of them won't be there:
Multiple high-profile voting rights leaders are planning to skip President JOE BIDEN’s speech on the matter in Atlanta today, dismissing the address as too little too late. “We’re beyond speeches. We’re beyond events,” said LATOSHA BROWN, the leader of Black Voters Matter. (h/t Sam Gringlas from NPR’s Atlanta bureau)
“We do not need any more speeches, we don’t need any more platitudes,” former NAACP of Georgia President JAMES WOODALL told NYT’s Nick Corasaniti and Reid Epstein. “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act — and we need that immediately.”
STACEY ABRAMS won’t be there either, citing a scheduling conflict.
On Air Force One today, Jen Psaki said Biden "shares the desire [of voting rights activists] to get this done" and that "he shares their frustration it's not done yet."
At the same time, it's hard to disagree with Cliff Albright, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, who had this to say about what needs to happen after Biden again states his support this afternoon for changing Senate filibuster rules to make it possible to pass voting rights legislation:
"If he is saying the next seven days is going to be historic and critical, he's got to fully lean in after he gives the speech, having the kinds of meetings, finding out from (West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe) Manchin what exactly it's going to take, and being very direct and forceful — just as forceful as he has been on infrastructure and on some other issues," Albright said.
Albright added: "There's no sense in having 40 years of Senate experience only to tell us that you can't whip two votes."
Reckon it's shit or get off the pot time.
Let's watch a speech:
HEY that went pretty long, so this is now your OPEN THREAD!
[Politico / Politico Playbook / CNN]
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