From Philadelphia, the city where the United States Constitution was signed in 1787, Joe Biden said Tuesday that the nation faces “the greatest challenge to democracy since the Civil War”, due to the maneuvers of the Republicans in the States in which they are a majority to restrict the right to vote throughout the country, under the pretext of increasing electoral security. Democrats argue that the goal is to undermine the minority vote in particular. With emotion and much effervescence, the president declared between applause and cheers that “there is nothing more patriotic than defending the right to vote.”
Biden began his speech by recalling the first three words with which the Constitution begins: We the people (We the People). With that idea of self-government that the Magna Carta proclaims, the president declared that the protection of the right to vote was the heart that moves his presidency, which led him to speak to Americans from the National Constitution Center, where in panels of crystal is drafted the Magna Carta that was born in Philadelphia.
Pressured by activists and democrats, the president has been forced to step forward and try to show that he has the necessary political muscle to make this challenge a “moral cause” that marks his mandate, despite the enormous difficulties that In order to carry out the Voting Act in Congress and the so-called John Lewis Voting Rights Act, he will find both bills that, despite much exaltation and harangue that the president exhibits, do not have a viable route in the Washington Capitol.
Because beyond appealing to actions to protect “the constitutional and sacred right to vote”, the White House did not offer a viable road plan that can achieve its objective, due to the need for the famous 60 votes necessary to pass legislation, known as filibustering. Towards the end of June, the great electoral reform to which Biden aspired, died in the Senate even before starting its debate. The passage through the House of Representatives was a walk, since the Democrats have a majority. But the Senate is divided equally (50-50), with the tiebreaker vote in the hands of the Speaker of the House, which falls to Vice President Harris, in any case insufficient to reach 60 votes.
“Authoritarian and anti-American”
Biden has called the voting restrictions, which have already passed at least a dozen state legislatures, “authoritarian and anti-American.” At the same time, the White House pledged to redouble its commitment to use all possible tools in its power to continue fighting for the protection of the fundamental right of Americans to stop the avalanche of voter suppression laws.
Pennsylvania, where the city of Philadelphia is located, a Democratic stronghold, was in the last presidential elections of 2020 one of the battlefields in which Donald Trump, after his defeat in that state, managed to light the fuse that the elections had been a fraud “Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” said the former president then.
Cradle of the first and second Constitutional Congresses, in 1774 and 1775 respectively, which concluded with the Declaration of Independence of the metropolis and precipitated the American Revolution, Philadelphia is loaded with a symbolism that fits perfectly with the president’s speech that denying people the right to vote “is a form of repression and censorship.”
The White House described the president’s speech as “an important speech”, which came the day after a group of Democrats from the Texas capitol left their state for the United States capital, to avoid a quorum in the vote that it was due yesterday. Landed on Monday night in the nation’s capital, lawmakers were scheduled to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday. The fundamental objective of these Democrats is to increase pressure on the president and Congress to act and pass what is known as the People’s Law and the so-called John Lewis Voting Rights Act, “to protect Texans, and all Americans, from the national battle that Republican supporters of Trump are waging against democracy ”.
In Texas, blocking the legislative quorum requires not only leaving the state capitol, you have to leave the state. Had the legislators remained in Texas, law enforcement, including the Rangers, could have been deployed to force them back into Congress for the vote. For now, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, a Republican, has threatened to arrest Democrats who fled the state to break the quorum the moment he returns.
Just a month ago, Democrats again denied a quorum to the Republican majority after a sit-in in the House of Representatives thwarted the first push to impose new voting restrictions in Texas, including banning the new 24-hour polling stations. requirements for voting by mail and toughen the conditions to identify oneself, among a battery of measures that, according to the defenders of civil rights, particularly harm the participation of racial minorities in electoral processes. “It is time to take the fight to our nation’s Capitol. In Texas we have the hours counted. We need Congress to act now, ”they said then.
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