Friday, September 17

‘Wrong and Un-American’: Biden Criticizes Texas Republicans’ SB7 Ballot Bill | US Voting Rights


Joe Biden has condemned as “erroneous and anti-American” a bill from the state of Texas that will become law that, according to the president, “attacks the sacred right to vote”, particularly among minorities.

The bill, known as SB7, cracks down on measures like direct voting and Sunday voting. It would also empower partisan election observers. Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, has said he will sign it. Democrats have said they will challenge it in court.

The bill follows moves in other Republican-controlled states in which sponsors insist they simply seek to protect themselves against voter fraud, but which most analysts believe are aimed at restricting the vote of sectors of the US. population that tend to vote Democrats.

According to the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, nearly 400 such bills have been introduced this year in the US, in 14 states.

Biden has already criticized such measures, for example, calling Georgia’s laws “Jim Crow in the 21st century,” a reference to the racist segregation system that remained in place for 100 years after the civil war.

As in other states, large corporations have warned Texas that SB7 could harm democracy and the economy. Republicans have shrugged off such objections and, in some cases, scammed business leaders for speaking out.

The two Republicans who drafted SB7, Texas Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Briscoe Cain, called the bill “one of the most comprehensive and sensible ballot reform bills” in state history.

In a joint statement, they said, “Even as the national media downplay the importance of election integrity, the Texas legislature has not kept to the headlines or signs of corporate virtues.”

Biden responded: “Today, Texas lawmakers introduced a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in promoting a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote. It’s part of an assault on democracy we’ve seen too often this year, often disproportionately targeting black and brown Americans.

“He’s wrong and he’s not American. In the 21st century, we should make it easier, not harder, for all eligible voters to vote. “

Republicans have acted to toughen voting laws as the man Biden defeated in the presidential election, Donald Trump, continues to dominate Republican politics, claiming his defeat was the result of massive electoral fraud, a lie repeatedly thrown out of the picture. the courts.

On Saturday, Biden said Congress should approve two federal measures, the People’s Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Promotion Act. Both face failure in a 50-50 split Senate and where key Democrats have said they will not support moves to abolish filibuster, the 60-vote threshold by which the minority can block legislation.

Trump’s lies about the elections fueled the deadly attack on the United States Capitol by his supporters on January 6. On Friday, Senate Republicans used filibuster to block the formation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate that riot.

Regarding the Texas bill, Biden said that it “continues[d] to call on all Americans, from all persuasive parties, to defend our democracy and protect the right to vote and the integrity of our elections.

Leading Texas Democrats were quick to voice their dismay.

Julián Castro, former US Housing Secretary and candidate for the presidential nomination, said: “The final draft of the Texas Republican voter suppression bill is as bad as it gets.”

SB7, he said, “restricts registration, absenteeism, weekend voting and voting hours … ends curbside voting and discourages trips to the polls” and includes a “disability check” for women. ballots sent by mail.

“We must defeat SB7”, Castro saying.

Former congressman and Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who is also running for the presidential nomination and, like Castro, is seen as a possible candidate for governor, thanked Biden for supporting voting rights in the state.

“As you said, we should make it easier, not harder, for all eligible voters to vote,” he wrote. “The only way to do it now is by passing the Law for the People.”

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, has saying will force a vote on that measure in June.

The Texas Democratic Party called SB7 a “Frankenstein monster.” In an emailed statement, Rose Clouston, the party’s director of voter protection, said: “A fundamental principle of our democracy is that voters choose their leaders. However, right now, Texas Republicans are trying to elect their voters. “

Sarah Labowitz, director of policy and advocacy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, He said The New York Times SB7 was “ruthless legislation” as it “targets voters of color and voters with disabilities, in a state that is already the most difficult place to vote in the country.”




www.theguardian.com

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