A federal voting rights bill passed through the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday (May 11), despite Republican lawmakers’ criticism of the legislation. With this advancement, the bill, the For the People Act, moves closer to a vote on the Senate floor.
Democrats proposed the bill to protect voting rights across the nation, after dozens of states legislatures introduced bills that imposed restrictions on voting.
Under the For the People Act, states would be required to establish automatic and same-day voter registration, early voting, and give voters the option of no-excuse absentee ballots. The bill would also restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people.
Republicans called the legislation “profoundly dangerous” to democracy though their party colleagues are making voting harder for Americans. The wave of voting restriction bills came after Donald Trump touted false claims about voter fraud during and weeks after the November election.
Within the committee, the final vote on the bill was split 9-9, with a tie between Democrats and Republicans who sit on the committee. A majority vote was usually required to get the bill out of the committee, but after Democrats negotiated rules in January, a floor vote will be held in which Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties.
The For the People Act passed in the House back in March and remains a priority for lawmakers ahead of the midterm election season.
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