Despite their high hopes and the desperate pleas from Texas Dems, the U.S. Senate did not move forward with federal voting rights before their summer recess. And it was a Texas GOP member — United States Senator Ted Cruz — who stopped the last attempt to vote on the bill before the Senate left the city.
During an overnight final session, Democrat Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer, NY, requested unanimous consent from the Senate to quickly consider the For the People Act, a complete change of federal elections that would stop attempts from states to make voting more secure against fraud, and would alter campaign finance rules and stop congressional gerrymandering, among other changes.
Only one senator is required to stop a unanimous consent move — a request which is usually reserved for topics that are not controversial — and Cruz jumped at this opportunity.
“This bill would make for a federal takeover of elections. … It would remove virtually every reasonable election integrity measure in the nation,” Cruz said.
Schumer put forward unanimous consent for two more measures that would deal with redistricting and campaign finance, and Cruz objected to those too.
The great hope among the Texas Democrats who went to the nation’s capital was that the U.S. Senate would enact a federal voting rights bill before the annual August recess. The Texas Dems, who broke the state Legislature’s quorum to stop Republican election protection laws for the past month, put their hopes on the U.S. Congress since they are the minority party the Texas government.
Few Capitol Hill watchers had anticipated the Senate would give them what they wanted, and Schumer’s motions were seen as a nod to the Democrats.
This quiet time comes as some Texas state Dems remain in DC. The once-bustling city with the most powerful people is now a complete ghost town. Texas Democrats met with important senators and VP Kamala Harris. As of this Wednesday, they had not yet to meet with President Biden.
Chances are not good that the For The People Act will ever pass the Senate. But Democrats remain hopeful that a newer scaled-back version of the bill could have a shot at being turned into law.
Author: Steven Sinclaire