The Senate took a procedural vote yesterday on a sweeping election overhaul bill which they say contains needed measures to counteract laws passed in states that make it harder to vote. Those measures reflect the lingering malign influence of Donald Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Judges have dismissed related challenges from Trump and his allies.
In addition to accusing Democrats of a power play, Republicans have claimed that Democratic election bills are an attempt to "federalize" elections. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., joined Republican colleagues in opposition.
She said in addition to federal legislative efforts, there's "work to do" with voting groups and to "empower and engage [state] legislatures" and noted that Vice President Harris will be in charge of this effort moving forward.
Capito has voiced issues with the proposal, noting the possible effect on voting by deployed military members and the provision allowing the public financing of campaigns.
Earlier on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Democrats were aiming to "tilt every election in America permanently in their favor".
Some of Manchin's ideas, such as a requirement for early voting, overlapped the provisions of the For the People Act.
"Abolish the filibuster so we can do the people's work", tweeted left-wing Democratic congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, of MA, before the vote.
Psaki said if the Tuesday vote is unsuccessful, "we suspect it will prompt a new conversation about the path forward".
Manchin, one of the last Democrat holdouts on the bill, has remained indecisive on his support.
However, even if the bill advanced, Democrats have their own divisions. We need to protect the sacred right to vote and ensure "We the People" choose our ldrs, the very foundation on which our democracy rests. Not Democratic, not liberal, not progress, non-partisan.
"The bill itself, which is called the For the People Act, is a product of compromise, an effort by maybe the most conservative Democrat in the Senate or maybe the most conservative Democrat in Congress, Joe Manchin of West Virginia to come up with some common-sense reforms that the majority of Americans agree with, that Democrats and Republicans can agree with", Obama said on a phone call with National Democratic Redistricting Committee volunteers Monday, giving a seal of approval to Manchin's efforts to find a middle ground.
Ultimately, it does little to deliver confidence to Democrats that making a deal with one or two Republicans like Murkowski or Collins is worth it if they can't deliver the ten votes necessary to break the filibuster.
But she emphasized the importance of having a united Democratic front on the issue, nodding at Manchin's proposal and potential vote to proceed. "It's about us as Americans".