Washington — President Biden on Tuesday is expected to denounce efforts by lawmakers in Republican-led states to impose new restrictions on voting as “authoritarian and anti-American” in a major speech on voting rights, the White House said.
In remarks from Philadelphia, Mr. Biden will lay out the “moral case” for protecting access to the ballot box and underscore the need for the administration to work alongside civil rights groups to “overcome the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday in a preview of the president’s speech.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks
- What: President Biden delivers remarks on the right to vote
- When: Tuesday, July 13
- Time: 2:50 p.m. ET
- Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile or streaming device
Mr. Biden’s speech on the right to vote comes as the White House faces increasing pressure from voting rights groups and Democrats in Congress to more aggressively push back against efforts in GOP-led states to enact more restrictive voting laws.
Spurred by former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud, several red states like Florida and Georgia have already enacted new laws tightening their elections procedures, while others, like Texas, are debating new restrictions. Texas Democratsfor Washington, D.C., on Monday night to block a vote on a sweeping elections bill during its special legislative session.
While the president hasto lead his administration’s work to protect voting rights, Psaki said Mr. Biden believes he can use the bully pulpit to push for voting rights legislation and use the powers of the federal government to protect the right to vote.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing,” Psaki said of Mr. Biden’s remarks. “And how he will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws, based on a dangerous and discredited conspiracy theory that culminated in an assault on our Capitol.”
Democrats on Capitol Hill earlier this year attempted to pass a sweeping elections reform bill, but in June, Republicans in the Senatefrom advancing. Lawmakers are also working on legislation that would restore protections of the Voting Rights Act that were gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.
But complicating Democrats’ efforts to pass voting rights legislation is the need for any measure to garner support from at least 10 Republicans in the evenly split Senate to move forward.
A Supreme Court decision this monthand placing new limits on another provision of the Voting Rights Act that bars elections procedures that discriminate on the basis of race has reignited calls from activists for Congress to act and the president to redouble his fight to protect access to the ballot box.