Senate Democrats unveiled yet another federal elections bill Tuesday in hopes of kickstarting their stalled push to counteract new laws in Republican states that are aimed at voter integrity.
But the new compromise legislation is likely doomed to fail in the 50-50 Senate, facing the same lockstep Republican opposition that scuttled their previous attempts to pass an even more sweeping bill. The GOP blasted the earlier measure as “unnecessary” and a “partisan power grab.”
Republican-controlled legislatures have enacted laws over the past year in the name of election security that Democrats say will make it harder to vote.
The spate of new voting integrity laws have ratcheted up pressure on Democrats in Congress to pass legislation that could counteract the GOP push.
“We have seen unprecedented attacks on our democracy in states across the country. These attacks demand an immediate federal response,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., the lead sponsor of the new bill.
The revised legislation was negotiated for weeks by a group of Democratic senators and includes many of the same provisions as the previous bill, known as the For the People Act.
It would establish national rules for running elections, limit partisanship in the drawing of congressional districts and force the disclosure of many anonymous donors who spend big to influence elections, according to a summary obtained by The Associated Press.
Despite changes, Republicans are expected to uniformly oppose the measure, which they say amounts to a federal takeover of elections. That leaves Democrats well short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill unless they change the Senate’s filibuster rules, which Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and other moderates have ruled out.
Manchin has said Congress shouldn’t pass voting legislation unless it is bipartisan. He has shopped the revised bill to some Republican senators in recent weeks, seeking their support. But there are no indications of any signing on.
Manchin told reporters Tuesday that the new bill “makes more sense, it’s more practical, more reasonable.”
“Now we have to sit down and work with our Republican colleagues,” he said.
That, experts say, is almost certainly doomed.
The Associated Press contributed to this article