Over the weekend, President Joe Biden signed an executive order designed to improve “access to voting.”
In the same breath, Biden also called upon the Senate to pass H.R. 1, a massive and comprehensive voting rights bill that was pushed through the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and fellow Democrats last week.
“This is a landmark piece of legislation that is urgently needed,” the president said of the bill in a video statement Sunday, according to Fox News. “I hope the Senate does its work so I can sign it into law.”
Biden’s latest move
With his Sunday order, Biden moved to cement many of the changes made to the nation’s voting systems ahead of the 2020 election.
Among the provisions mentioned in the executive order is a wide-ranging push to register more voters, including by “using federal agencies to promote voter registration;” by “linking federal agency websites to state voter registration websites;” and by “promoting voter registration for federal prisoners,” according to Breitbart.
The order even stipulates that “it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to expand access to, and education about, voter registration and election information, and to combat misinformation, in order to enable all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.”
Of course, in recent months, combating misinformation has often looked a lot like censoring dissenting voices. But that’s no trouble for Biden.
Dems’ big plans
In his Sunday statement, the president lauded his executive action for expanding “access” to voting. “Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted,” Biden said.
But he must not think his order can do the whole job, as Biden went on to urge the Senate to pass H.R. 1. At more than 800 pages in length, the so-called For the People Act looks to establish “automatic voter registration,” to “expand early voting,” and to “enhance absentee voting by simplifying voting by mail,” according to Fox.
It also would look to make Washington, D.C. a state, among many other things.
At this point, however, it seems unlikely that H.R. 1 will make it through the Senate. After all, it only passed the House along party lines, with not a single Republican voting in favor of it.
Is this the kind of “unity” Biden was thinking of when he first took office just weeks ago?