Biden Will Endorse Changing Senate Rules to Pass Voting Rights Legislation

One bill introduced by Democrats, the Freedom to Vote Act, would, among other provisions, take the teeth out of state-led efforts to restrict mail-in or absentee voting, make Election Day a holiday, and stop state legislators from redrawing districts in a way that advocates say denies representation to minority voters. Another, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would restore crucial anti-discrimination components of the Voting Rights Act that were stripped away by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, acknowledged that expectations around the speech were high: “He wouldn’t be going to Georgia tomorrow if he wasn’t ready and prepared to elevate this issue and continue to fight for it,” Ms. Psaki told reporters on Monday.

But the president’s advisers have been far less specific about what solutions he might offer, and a bipartisan path forward is all but impossible. Mr. Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate and sees himself as a consensus builder, has faced resistance from Republicans on voting rights legislation.

Last week, Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said Republicans could have until Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to drop their opposition to debate and votes on the issue, or face the prospect of overhauling Senate filibuster rules.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, promised a scorched-earth response should Democrats go that route: “Since Sen. Schumer is hell-bent on trying to break the Senate, Republicans will show how this reckless action would have immediate consequences,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement on Monday.

Republicans have argued that Democrats are using the voting rights legislation to try to gain partisan advantage by seeking to impose their preferred rules on states that have long regulated their own elections. But activists say that critique ignores glaring examples of voter suppression. Voting rights groups in Georgia have already filed a federal lawsuit that accuses legislators of redrawing a congressional district to benefit Republican candidates and deny representation to Black voters.

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden will lean on the power of symbolism when he travels to Georgia. Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris will visit the crypt of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. They will visit the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both Dr. King and Mr. Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights icon for whom the legislation is named, were eulogized. Sen. Raphael Warnock, the state’s first Black senator and a Democrat who is seeking a full term this year after a runoff victory, is a senior pastor there.

White House Says It Does Not Keep Visitor Logs at Biden’s Delaware Home

WASHINGTON — White House officials said on Monday that there are no visitor logs that keep track of who comes and goes from President Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., where six classified documents were discovered in recent days. A top House Republican demanded on Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs for […]

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A Florida School Received a Threat. Did a Red Flag Law Prevent a Shooting?

The requests were granted. But the results of the search were not what the detective expected. Memories of Parkland Nationally, more than 20,000 petitions for extreme risk protection orders were filed from 1999 to 2021, according to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group. A vast majority of those petitions — more […]

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A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin

Lauren Justice for The New York Times Conservatives have controlled the court since 2008. Though the court upheld Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, last year it ruled drop boxes illegal, allowed a purge of the voter rolls to take place and installed redistricting maps drawn by Republican legislators despite the objections of Gov. Tony Evers, a […]

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