President Biden is heading to Philadelphia to make a new “moral case” for voting rights as Texas Democrats protest a restrictive new law by setting up shop in Washington D.C.
With voting rights laws blocked by Senate Republicans, Biden is expected to use his speech at the National Constitution Center on Tuesday to declare war on GOP efforts in states they control to make it harder to vote.
“He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Monday.
President Biden (Chip Somodevilla/)
Video: Texas lawmakers set to vote on Republican-led voting bills (NBC News)
The rights push gained urgency late Monday when Texas Democratic legislators fled the state in a long-shot bid to block a restrictive Republican voting law by preventing a quorum and thus, the ability to do business in the Legislature.
The Lone Star drama puts a new spotlight on liberal efforts to pass national legislation that would set a baseline of voting rights across all 50 states including expansive early voting, mail-in voting and an end to partisan gerrymandering.
Voting laws passed the Democratic House of Representatives but have stalled in the Senate, where Republicans have used their filibuster power to keep them away from Biden’s desk.
Biden will make the new push as he faces growing pressure from civil rights activists and other Democrats to do something to counteract the most successful efforts of Republican state legislatures to restrict access to the ballot box.
The White House has taken sharp criticism from allies for not expending more political capital on the effort especially compared with Biden’s mostly successful push to spend trillions on juicing the economy and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.