Senate panel divided on controversial voting bill: ‘What does this legislation do?’ 

States across the U.S. have been approving new legislation meant to crack down on voter fraud and enhance the integrity of elections.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate are pushing a piece of legislation that would effectively undo a substantial portion of those efforts.

“Virtually every voter integrity law”

As The Hill reported, the Senate Rules Committee met on Tuesday and voted on the controversial bill, known as S.1. Top Senate Republicans spent the day hammering their colleagues across the aisle for the scope and perceived impact of the bill.

Sen. Ted Cruz (D-TX) joined the chorus of opposition, asserting: “This legislation strikes down virtually every voter integrity law adopted at the state level.”

He went on to note that “over 70% of Americans” and “over 60% of African-Americans” support voter identification requirements, referencing recent polling results released by Fox News. As it stands, Cruz confirmed that 29 U.S. states have already enacted some form of voter ID law.

“What does this legislation do?” he asked, replying that it “strikes that all down, says it’s illegal for any state to have a voter ID law.”

Another fierce opponent was Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who accused his “friends on the other side” of being “desperate” to see S.1 become law.

“Let’s take a look at the bill”

“Why are Democrats so hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to rewire our democracy on a thoroughly partisan bias?” he asked rhetorically. “Let’s take a look at the bill. This legislation will let Washington Democrats dictate the terms of their own reelection races by rewriting all 50 states’ election laws.”

The bill entered the rules committee where it was expected to encounter a 9-9 split on the matter of bringing it to a floor vote. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has manipulated chamber rules, however, allowing a tied vote to nevertheless result in a vote on the floor.

With filibuster rules in place, Democrats have virtually no chance of attracting the Republican votes needed to pass the measure with 60 votes. They would have a chance, however, if they move to eliminate the filibuster, which many in the party are in favor of doing.

Of course, there are at least two moderate Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona — who have expressed opposition to the idea of eliminating the filibuster. Reports indicate the issue was a major reason Biden held a meeting with Manchin this week.

With both reluctant Democrats on board and the filibuster out of the way, the party would apparently be on track to push S.1 through the Senate — and on to a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris — even without a single GOP vote.

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