August 3, 2021

In the United States, the Republican Party buries a bill to facilitate the votes

The Republican Party camped in obstruction Tuesday, June 22. Weeks after defeating the creation of an independent commission of inquiry into the assault led by loyalists of former President Donald Trump on Congress on January 6, he buried a bill defended by the Democratic Party aimed at facilitating the vote, without even considering its measures.

This very ambitious proposal, adopted in March by the House of Representatives, where Democrats are in the majority, was intended to run counter to laws enacted in states ruled by Republicans which considerably restrict the terms of this civic act. They now concern 36 million voters and 15% of people legally able to vote, according to the voting organization Voting Rights Lab.

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Restrictive texts have multiplied since November and the contestation of the results of the presidential election by Mr. Trump. The latter denounces a massive fraud of which no one has yet provided the slightest proof despite dozens of complaints before the courts.

The narrow majority that Democrats have in the Senate made it very unlikely that this text would be adopted. Ten Republican senators would have had to join them to be able to bypass the filibuster, this tactic of parliamentary obstruction. On Tuesday, however, no voice was lacking from the two parties, which have the same number of elected officials and which are separated by the vice-president, Kamala Harris, also president of the Senate.

Limiting the influence of money in politics

For the Democratic camp, it was a question of eliminating the obstacles to the vote added at the level of the States, in connection with the inscriptions on the electoral lists or the vote by mail. The text also intended to limit the influence of money in politics by providing for a system of public financing of the elections and wished to reduce the partisan influence on the division of the constituencies of the Congress. Conversely, the elected Republicans deplored an attack on the authority of the States and their ability to conduct their own elections without fraud. They considered that this initiative was intended to give the best chances in the next consultations to the Democrats, their electorate being in particular deemed more inclined to vote by mail.

The latter reacted to the Senate vote by ensuring that « the fight does[était] not finished », according to President Joe Biden. Majority Leader (Democrat) in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (State of New York), estimated that this result « [était] further proof that voter suppression has become part of the official Republican Party program ”. On the contrary, West Virginia Conservative Senator Shelley Moore Capito called the Democratic bill a “Contemptible and fallacious attempt to deprive states of their constitutional right to administer elections”.

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