WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In a 50-50 vote, the Democratic voting rights bill failed to advance in the Senate on Wednesday.
“It is not a Republican concern or a Democratic concern, it is an American concern,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.
Senate Democrats needed 10 Republicans to jump on board with the legislation, but no GOP senators sided with them to start debate on the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Democrats will continue to push against voter suppression throughout the country.
“The fight to protect voting rights is not over, by no means,” Schumer said.
The bill was an attempt to counter a wave of election changes made by Republican state legislatures, and looked to end dark money in politics and partisan gerrymandering.
“What this is really about is an effort by the federal government to take over the way we conduct elections in this country,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.).
McConnell says Democrats are looking for a problem that’s not there. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) agrees.
“I cannot support legislation that would run so counter to what the framers of the constitution intended and the election system that works well, in my home state of Ohio,” Portman said.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) says there is a real issue in his home state, and says he and other Democrats will not stop until the problems are resolved.
“We have to ensure that the voices of the people can be heard in their own house,” Warnock said.
Most Democrats are now looking to eliminate the filibuster, to bypass the GOP on issues like this.