White House says VP Harris will use ‘bully pulpit’ to gain support for voting rights bill

In addition to other tasks that he has assigned, President Joe Biden has charged Vice President Kamala Harris with leading their administration’s efforts on the voting rights front.

Now, according to the White House, Harris will make full use of her “bully pulpit” in an attempt to drum up support for partisan voting rights expansion bills pushed by Democrats, The Washington Times reports.

Harris will reportedly hold meetings and deliver speeches that will berate those who are opposed to Democratic legislation that would, in essence, result in a federal takeover of all elections nationwide at the local and state levels.

Harris assigned lead role

A “fact sheet” was released Friday by the White House outlining how the Biden–Harris administration would be fighting back against alleged attacks on the right to vote by state legislatures. Republicans say the measures are simply common-sense election reform measures designed to protect the integrity of the ballot.

“Plain and simple, these voter suppression laws are meant to attack Americans’ constitutional rights — especially people of color — and that is absolutely unacceptable to the President,” the White House claimed in retort.

“In office, the President has taken unprecedented action to advance voting rights and defend this sacred right,” the White House’s statement continued. “And he recently named Vice President Harris to take charge of a new, intensified campaign on this issue, signifying its vital importance to this administration.”

The last line came in reference to President Biden’s June 1 speech in Tulsa to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the racially motivated Greenwood massacre of Black residents, during which the president spent time discussing voting rights for members of minority communities and reiterated the false assertions that recent Republican election reform measures were discriminatory toward minority voters.

In his speech, Biden expressed support for the passage of a pair of Democratic voting rights expansion bills in Congress, the “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” and announced: “To signify the importance of our efforts, today I’m asking Vice President Harris to help these efforts and lead them, among her many other responsibilities.”

The “fight for voting rights”

Fast-forward to Friday’s statement, which again expressed support for those two Democratic voting rights expansion bills and offered another reminder that President Biden “named Vice President Harris to lead a new, specific effort to fight for voting rights.”

“Her strategy is to use the bully pulpit to build additional public support on top of the bipartisan majorities that already back our voting rights agenda,” the White House explained.

“She’s using the power of the White House to convene key stakeholders, and will be hosting several next week. And she’ll continue to fight for our key bills,” it concluded.

Despite the White House claim that the supported legislation enjoys “bipartisan majorities,” neither bill seems likely to achieve the 60-vote threshold to surpass likely Republican filibusters — unless Harris, previously a senator from California, can cajole enough of her former GOP colleagues to side with Democrats in their attempts to transfer authority and control of local and state election procedures to the U.S. government.

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