The somber Jan. 6 anniversary has renewed determination among President Joe Biden and other Democrats to act on voting rights legislation, which they say would protect future elections and the institutions of U.S. democracy.
Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., became emotional on Capitol Hill as he wrestled with the impact of the deadly attack one year later. “If anyone out there doesn’t think that democracy and our way of life is hanging by a thin thread, then they’re not paying attention,” he said Thursday.
After the anniversary, Democrats appeared on Sunday programs to stress their urgency to overhaul election laws amid efforts by conservatives at the state level to restrict voting.
“What the Republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on Jan. 6, which is to undermine our democracy, to undermine the integrity of our elections, to undermine the voting power, which is the essence of a democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
While many Republicans say Washington shouldn’t intervene in voting rules, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., contended on “Fox News Sunday” that election laws “should not be left up to the states,” citing the 15th Amendment, which gives Congress the power to protect the right to vote.
The House has passed two major election bills and is contemplating more. The focus is now on the Senate, where Democrats hold a 50-50 majority and Republicans are using the 60-vote filibuster rule to block legislation.