Biden says he and Stacey Abrams spoke ‘at length’ this morning and are ‘on the same page’

Pressure is mounting on President Biden to come up with a plan to enact meaningful voter protections to counter tough new election laws put in place in the country after he warned of the dangers last year emerging for democracy.

Biden is traveling to Atlanta today to present an urgent new case for voting rights legislation as Democrats prepare to introduce two new bills that will require weakening Senate obstruction rules for be adopted – a step Biden is prepared to endorse.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – who asked Biden last year to take the voting rights as a signature issue – plan to lay a wreath in Martin Luther King Jr.’s crypt and visit the Baptist Church history of Ebenezer, where the killed civil rights leader preached.

Coming at a critical juncture, the day is intended, in part, to calm criticism that the president has not done enough to break the deadlock in Congress.

Two measures – the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – would jointly strengthen the protection of the vote by creating, among other things, national standards for postal voting and reinstating certain deleted elements of the Voting Rights Act. Biden’s address to the Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the grounds of historically black institutions Clark Atlanta University and Moorehouse College, will work to galvanize support behind the bills as they are introduced in the Senate.

Democrats in Congress are gearing up to push the bills forward ahead of this year’s midterm election, but – with nearly all Republicans opposed – the measures’ only chance of success is to change the Senate’s rules on it. systematic obstruction.

Activists and some of Biden’s allies fear there is little hope of convincing the remaining Democratic refractory – centrist Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – opt for the rule changes and are increasingly frustrated with Biden for not breaking the deadlock.

Coupled with his most scathing denunciation to date of his predecessor for fomenting lies about the 2020 election, today’s address in Atlanta marks a new and distinct goal for the president as he enters his second year in office. mandate.

As Democrats enter an uncertain election year, Biden appears poised to lead a more sustained campaign against Republicans’ attempts to rewrite election rules and install Trump loyalists on election boards.

Ahead of his visit, some voting rights groups in Georgia expressed skepticism about the president’s approach. A consortium of organizations wrote in a statement that they “would reject any visit by President Biden that did not include the announcement of a finalized voting rights plan that would go through both chambers, not be stopped by the ‘systematic obstruction and would be enacted “.

“Anything less is insufficient and intrusive,” read the press release.

Biden will be flanked by Georgian elected officials today, but not all of the state’s main Democrats will be in attendance.

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will not attend Biden’s speech due to conflict, a spokesperson said. Senator Jon Ossoff, who won his seat in 2020, will attend the event, a spokesperson for the senator said. Senator Raphael Warnock, a Georgian Democrat who is running for re-election in 2022 after winning a two-year term alongside Biden and Ossoff in 2020, will attend the presidential event, according to a representative from his Senate office.

“Our democracy is in peril and time is running out,” Warnock said. “This is a moral moment, and if the leaders in Washington fail to protect the voices and votes of the American people, then we have failed in our responsibilities. Now is the time to act.”

While it is not clear whether the president will chart this specific course, Biden “will describe it as one of the few moments in the history of a country where time stands still and the essentials are immediately torn from the ground. trivial, “Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. said Monday. “We have to make sure that January 6 does not mark the end of democracy, but the rebirth of our democracy.”

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