Senate Democrats are set to release their new, trimmed down voting bill, but despite unanimous support from their caucus it faces a steep climb to become law.
The bill, titled the Freedom to Vote Act, is Democrats’ response to a series of voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states across the country. But despite its framework, constructed around a compromise plan proposed by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, it must still clear a filibuster to pass the Senate, meaning at least 10 Republicans would have to sign on in support.
The legislation, introduced by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, drops some of the more contentious provisions included in the For the People Act, Democrats’ previous legislation that fell to a GOP filibuster in June. While the new bill would no longer restructure the Federal Election Commission and requires a nationwide voter ID standard, it includes automatic registration provisions and would make Election Day a national holiday.
The Senate has approved an amendment to the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that will ban the use of federal funds from being used to teach Critical Race Theory in schools.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced the “Stop CRT Act” in an effort to prevent tax dollars from being used to teach the controversial set of ideas in public school classrooms.
Eleven Senate Democrats on Thursday voted against a modest and commonsense amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution that requires illegal migrants apprehended on the southern border to be tested for COVID-19 before they are transported into the country.
The amendment, introduced by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), a physician, establishes “a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to protecting migrants and local communities against COVID-19.” Under the provision, migrants will be quarantined and not transported from the border until they tested negative.
Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.
The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.
The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.
Senate Democrats are attempting to add funding for “Dreamers” and border security to their budget bill, Axios reported Friday.
The Democrats are looking at adding $10 billion to their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package towards border security infrastructure at legal points of entry, according to Axios. The Democrats previously planned to allocate around $120 billion for citizenship for undocumented essential workers, immigrants with Temporary Protected Status and Dreamers.
The Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate rejected almost all budget amendment proposals from Republican members during a lengthy session Thursday afternoon.
As the Senate moves closer to a passage vote on its comprehensive budget, Thursday’s session made it clear that Senate Democrats are ultimately running the show.