(USA Features) Republicans in the Senate have blocked a Democrat-led voting reform bill opponents said would have largely taken control of federal elections away from states.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted 50-50 on straight party-lines, failing to reach a 60-vote filibuster threshold, essentially killing the legislation for the time being.
After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the legislation a Democrat “power grab.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., also issued a statement, calling the name of the legislation “Orwellian.”
“The ‘For the People Act’ is another Orwellian-named bill that has nothing to do with voting rights but everything to do with consolidating Democrat control over government and our lives,” he said.
“Republicans want to restore confidence in our elections by making it easy to vote but hard to cheat. It seems like Democrats primarily want to make it easier to cheat,” he continued.
“Why else would they propose eliminating voter ID laws, require ballot harvesting and drop-boxes, make the FEC a partisan agency, and make it harder to maintain accurate voter files?
“They would also force taxpayers to help fund the campaigns of candidates they oppose. An accurate name for this monstrosity would be the ‘For Democrat Politicians Act,'” Johnson continued.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also ripped the legislation. She said it would “perpetuate a Democrat majority” and would serve as an “incumbent dream.”
She further speculated that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., held a vote he knew he was going to lose just for political expediency.
“This is about positioning for him; in my opinion, he is concerned is that he is going to have a primary challenge from” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“He is watching very closely what is happening on his left flank. They’re trying to keep the left is really in charge of the Democratic Party right now,” she added.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, also criticized the bill as a Democrat bid to control the majority in perpetuity.
“As a former local elections commissioner in Montgomery County, it’s clear as day to me that this radical, partisan bill isn’t about democracy; it’s about changing the rules and tipping the scales to favor Washington Democrats,” she said.
“This partisan attempt to take over America’s elections would force Iowa taxpayers to pay for politicians’ campaigns, eliminate popular voter ID requirements at the polls, and put Washington, D.C. bureaucrats in charge of America’s local and state-run elections systems,” she added.