United States President Joe Biden lashed out on Senate Republicans after the upper legislative house sank a crucial voting rights bill on Wednesday. “I am disappointed — but I am not deterred”, Biden said in a statement.
Biden accused GOP lawmakers in the US Congress of being “engaged in an unprecedented effort to suppress the sacred right to vote” and compromising the free and fair elections of America.
Biden vowed to not give up on the fight for boosting voting rights in the country. He said, “My Administration will never stop fighting to ensure that the heart and soul of our democracy — the right to vote — is protected at all costs. We will continue to work with allies to advance necessary legislation to protect the right to vote.”
However, Biden’s statement on Wednesday did not address a possible challenge to the filibuster rules in Senate, which blocked the bill on Wednesday. A GOP-headed filibuster meant at least 60 votes were needed in favour of the legislation.
United States Vice President Kamala Harris — who Biden said will head the effort “as she has for the past year”– made similar statements on not letting go off the voting rights bill.
“Our administration will continue to fight to pass federal legislation—and to change Senate rules—to secure the right to vote”, Vice President Harris said.
She added, “We will work to ensure Americans everywhere can register to vote, cast their vote, and have their vote counted in a free and fair election.”
The vote on the Senate rules, which had a close call in a thinly divided Senate, saw two key holdouts from the Democratic party: Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Senator Lisa Murkowski said a bipartisan coalition should work on legislation to ensure voter access, particularly in far-flung areas like her state, and to shore up Americans’ faith in democracy.
(With AP inputs)