President Biden returns to the White House

18 January 2022
2022-01-18 14:16

U.S. President Joe Biden returned to the White House from Wilmington, Delaware on Monday night with voting rights legislation on his agenda. The Senate is set to launch debate Tuesday on the voting bill with attention focused intently on two pivotal Democrats - Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Martin Luther King III, the son of the late civil rights leader, compared Sinema and Manchin to the white moderate his father wrote about during the civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s - a person who declared support for the goals of Black voting rights but not the direct actions or demonstrations that ultimately led to passage of the landmark legislation.

This will be the fifth time the Senate will try to pass voting legislation this Congress, as elections officials warn that new state laws are making it more difficult to vote in some parts of the country. The House has passed the package, but the legislation is stalled in the Senate, opposed by Republicans.

With a 50-50 split, Democrats have a narrow Senate majority - Vice President Kamala Harris can break a tie - but they lack the 60 votes needed to overcome the GOP filibuster. Once reluctant to change Senate rules, President Joe Biden used the King holiday to pressure senators to do just that.

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