Morning Sun

Big voting bill faces defeat as 2 Dems won’t stop filibuster

- By Lisa Mascaro The Associated Press

WASHINGTON » Voting legislatio­n that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy appeared headed for defeat as the Senate opened debate Tuesday, a devastatin­g setback enabled by President Joe Biden’s own party as two holdout senators refuse to support rule changes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The Democratic senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, faced strong criticism from Black leaders and civil rights organizati­ons for failing to take on what critics call the “Jim Crow filibuster.”

The debate carries echoes of an earlier era when the Senate filibuster was deployed in lengthy speeches by opponents of civil rights legislatio­n. It comes as Democrats and other voting advocates nationwide warn that Republican-led states are passing laws making it more difficult for Black Americans and others to vote by consolidat­ing polling locations, requiring certain types of identifica­tion and ordering other changes.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledg­ed the current bill’s likely defeat this week. But he said the fight is not over as he heeds advocates’ call to force all senators to go on record with their positions.

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