America Should Listen to Stacey Abrams' Warning About 'Racist' Election Laws

Mar 15, 2021
In The News

Democrats view their best chance to fight back as H.R. 1, or the “For the People Act,” a huge voting rights bill that has already passed the Democratic-controlled House and is awaiting action in the Senate. The measure is at the center of controversy as some Democrats argue that its importance justifies either the removal or the modification of filibuster rules that allow minority Republicans to kill major legislation by requiring a 60-vote supermajority. Abrams argued on “State of the Union” that a total overhaul of the filibuster, which Biden and several moderate Democrats oppose, is not necessary to get the bill through the Senate. “I don't believe that it's necessary to wholly eliminate the filibuster to accomplish the purposes of passing these bills,” Abrams said, suggesting a similar carveout from the filibuster as applies to confirming Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees. Abrams also rejected Republican claims that H.R. 1 represents an unlawful power play by liberals that crushes state power. “The elections clause in the Constitution guarantees that the Congress alone has the power to regulate the time, manner and place of elections. That is a power that is sacrosanct,” Abrams said. The “For the People Act” takes the opposite approach to most of the Republican electoral bills in the states. It would create automatic voter registration nationwide, expand voting by mail and reverse restrictions on voting hours imposed by states. The bill would end partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts -- the practice of drawing seats that has protected incumbents and tended to radicalize both parties in Washington. It also requires organizations to disclose the names of all their big donors and introduces new security measures to protect American elections following assaults on the process by foreign powers. In another change to campaign finance practices for congressional elections, the measure would also give federal candidates as much as a 6-to-1 match of public funds for small donations to spur more grassroots giving.