What is the point of entering, knowingly, into a political impasse? This question escorted Joe Biden, Thursday, January 13, while the president paid a new visit to the Capitol, to try to mobilize the Democratic troops on a major subject: the right to vote, undermined in dozens of states by majorities republican. « It’s about electoral subversion, and not just knowing who can vote or not », explained the president, after a closed meeting with elected officials. « I don’t know if we can do it », admitted Joe Biden, about his legislative projects.
At the start of 2022, the Democratic Party abandoned socio-economic reforms to relaunch the defense of the right to vote. An essential theme in the eyes of the black electorate, frustrated by the unsuccessful attempts in Congress for a year. Passed in the morning in the House of Representatives, the bill would establish federal standards. It would make polling day a statutory holiday, impose on all states the practice of advance voting and access to voting by mail for all, etc. It would also restore a prior authorization from the Ministry of Justice before any modification of the electoral law in a State known in history for its discrimination.
The Democratic leader in the Senate, Charles Schumer, has pledged to organize a vote on the subject before January 17, a holiday dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. Due to the opposition of the entire Republican bloc, the Democrats have no other choice to pass this text than to attack a fundamental parliamentary rule, that of the “filibuster”. It takes a majority of 60 votes out of 100 to get the project through. But once again, two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), oppose such a radical change of procedure. Kyrsten Sinema explained on Wednesday that she disapproves of any move that would make « The disease of division ».
The disappointment of black Americans
This opposition from within is nothing new. Before Christmas, Joe Manchin derailed the Democratic camp on Joe Biden’s most ambitious project, the Build Back Better (BBB) plan, a gigantic set of expenses to revitalize the welfare state and invest in the green economy. One of his justifications was the high inflation, 7% in one year, which, according to him, should not encourage such substantial expenditure (1,800 billion dollars, approximately 1,600 billion euros). This same inflation is arguably the darkest point in Joe Biden’s first year in office, without his sole responsibility being held.
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