AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
After Senate Republicans blocked debate on the For the People Act, Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Tuesday evening that “the fight is not over.”
The Senate voted 50-50 along party lines, with 60 votes necessary to move forward with debate. The sweeping For the People Act would have expanded early voting, permitted same-day and automatic voter registration, changed campaign finance laws, and limited partisan gerrymandering.
Harris, who has been tasked with leading the Biden administration’s work on voting rights, presided over the vote. After leaving the Senate floor, Harris told reporters “this is one of the most critical issues that the United States Congress could take up, which is about the fundamental right to vote in our country. I think it is clear, certainly for the American people, that when we’re talking about the right to vote it is not a Republican concern, or a Democratic concern, it is an American concern.”
Americans have the right to vote “in a meaningful way,” she continued, and it comes down to whether there is “actual access to the voting process or is that being impeded.” Harris said she and President Biden both support the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and “the fight is not over.” The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is expected to come to the Senate floor sometime this year.