WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats will try again to push a broad elections and voting overhaul bill. They are testing objections from Republicans with next week's vote, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday.
Schumer, D.N.Y., wrote to his colleagues urging them to "come to the table" and at least allow debate about the bill. The new version was created weeks ago in an effort to win support in a time where states are still putting obstacles in their way of voting.
Schumer stated that if the Republican senators have suggestions "on how to improve legislation", we are open to hearing them, discussing them and, if they're in line with the legislative goals, including them in the bill.
He asked Republicans to not oppose the measure and to block it with a filibuster.
Next Wednesday, a test vote will be held.
Senator Joe Manchin, a key Democrat from West Virginia, led the effort to amend an earlier version that was met with stiff GOP opposition. He also had concerns about its scope. It is not certain that Manchin's efforts to amend the bill now-scalled back will be accepted by many Republican supporters.
The evenly divided 50-50 Senate is dominated by Democrats. Democrats have the smallest majority. To pass the bill through the opposition, support from Republicans is required.
Senator Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky denies that the whole effort amounts to a federal takeover state-run electoral systems.
The revised legislation, also known as the For the People Act, was in the making for several weeks.
It would establish national rules to run elections. It also includes provisions that limit but not prohibit state voter ID requirements. This is a common practice in many states. Manchin deemed these changes important.
The new measure also eliminates language that would have established a public financing system to finance federal elections -- something McConnell and Republicans were critical of.