U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday she would join Senate Democrats in backing a compromise voting rights bill, marking the first time this year a Republican has signed on to a measure that likely still lacks enough GOP support to become law.Murkowski, of Alaska, joined Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia to introduce a new version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named after the late Georgia civil rights icon.The compromise version is more permissive of state voter ID laws. It also includes a provision to expand Native American voting access.The senators said the changes were the product of “months of bipartisan negotiations,” but Murkowski was the only Republican senator to endorse the legislation Tuesday.
Under Senate rules, the measure would have to receive 60 votes to advance to debate, meaning nine more Republicans beyond Murkowski would have to vote for it.