President Joe Biden calledThis week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an “atrocity” and said the Justice Department is “reviewing” the measure.
The new law includes provisions to require voter identification for absent ballots, limit the use of ballot boxes, give state officials more power over elections, and make it a crime to offer voters food and water while they wait in the ballot box. row.
Critics argue that the law disproportionately affects black voters, who were central to recent Democratic victories. Biden narrowly won the state in the 2020 election, and Georgia sent two Democrats to the Senate after the runoff elections in January.
When asked by reporters Friday how the White House might respond to the bill, Biden said “we’re working on that right now.”
“We don’t know exactly what we can do at this point. The Justice Department is also looking at it,” Biden said.
He told reporters that the bill was an “atrocity.”
“It has nothing to do with justice, nothing to do with decency. Did they pass the law that says you cannot provide water to people who stand in line while waiting to vote? You don’t need anything else to know that this is not more than punitive, designed to prevent people from voting. Can’t you provide water to people who are about to vote? Give me a break, “he said.
In a statement released Friday morning, the president urged Congress to pass voting rights legislation that would counter Georgia law and other bills proposed by Republican state legislatures across the country that would make voting difficult.
“This law, like so many others that Republicans are enforcing in public powers across the country, is a flagrant attack on the Constitution and good conscience,” said Biden. He noted that longer lines at the polls disproportionately affected black voters in metropolitan areas, as Republican officials have reduced the number of voting centers in their neighborhoods.
“This is Jim Crow in the 21st century. It must end. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to act. Once again I urge Congress to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Promotion Act to make it more easy for all eligible Americans to go to the polls and avoid attacks on the sacred right to vote, “continued Biden.
The House recently passed the Law For the People, a comprehensive bill that addresses elections and campaign finance reform. However it is, where the majority of Republicans have voiced their opposition to the bill. Democrats only have a 50-seat majority in the Senate, and most laws require 60 votes to advance.
Even if Democrats removed filibuster, which would lower the threshold to a simple majority, some Democrats have also raised concerns about the bill. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said this week that he believed the bill should be lowered and that Democrats and Republicans should try to pass the right to vote legislation on a bipartisan basis. Manchin is also opposed to ending obstructionism.
In a letter to his Democratic colleagues Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate Judiciary Committee would soon take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would reinstate the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. 1965 repealed by the Supreme Court. Like the Law for the People, it is unlikely to receive the necessary support from 60 senators.
Meanwhile, Republicans argue that the Georgia bill does not amount to voter suppression. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said that “the cries of ‘voter suppression’ from those in the left circle are hollow.” Kemp said it made elections safer.
“There is nothing ‘Jim Crow’ about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to vote absentee. All Georgia voters must already do so when they vote in person,” Kemp said Friday.