Daily Column – 17th January 2022

Around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Democrats were keen to deliver a significant triumph on voting rights. The reality is that “I don’t know whether we can get this done,” as President Biden admitted last Thursday.

To overcome a Republican filibuster, Democrats need 60 votes in the Senate, but they only have 50 senators. Moderate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who oppose changing Senate rules while supporting the voting rights bill, dismissed a plan to amend filibuster rules so that 50 votes are required. So…the chances aren’t in your favour.

What’s included in the bill?

The 735-page “Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act” will change US elections as well as other aspects of national politics such as campaign funding and congressional district gerrymandering. In midterm and presidential election years, it would also make Election Day a federal holiday.

According to Democratic campaigners, the need to defend voting rights is becoming more essential as Republican-led states implement election laws that make voting more difficult, particularly for minorities.

Where does Corporate America stand, according to a business newsletter?

Large corporations are typically in favour of the Democratic Party’s electoral reform proposals. Last summer, more than 150 firms signed a letter praising an earlier version of the voting rights legislation, including Amazon and Pepsi. A group of business leaders, including the CEOs of Etsy and Reddit, recently asked Democrats to amend the filibuster rules in order to get the bill through the Senate.

Businesses have also spoken out against Republican efforts to reform election laws in particular states. After Georgia implemented new voting regulations, MLB decided to move the 2021 All-Star Game away of Atlanta.

Looking forward…

The Senate will take up the voting rights bill, which has already cleared the majority-Democrat House, tomorrow, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Failure to complete it would be a significant setback for Biden’s objectives.

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