Senate Republicans banded together Tuesday to block a sweeping Democratic bill that would revamp the architecture of American democracy, dealing a grave blow to efforts to federally override dozens of GOP-passed state voting laws.
The test vote, which would have cleared the way to start debate on voting legislation, failed 50-50 on straight party lines — 10 votes short of the supermajority needed to advance legislation in the Senate.
It came after Democrat after Democrat delivered warnings about the dire state of American democracy, blaming former president Donald Trump for undermining its foundations by challenging the 2020 election results, which, in turn, prompted his supporters in numerous state legislatures to pass new laws rolling back ballot access.
“Are we going to let reactionary state legislatures drag us back into the muck of voter suppression? Are we going to let the most dishonest president in history continue to poison our democracy from the inside?” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said before the vote. “Or will we stand up to defend what generations of Americans have organized, marched, fought and died for — the sacred, sacred right to vote?”