Consideration of the Democrat-championed Freedom to Vote Act was voted down 51-49 in the Senate Wednesday after Republicans successfully filibustered the bill, killing a chance for Democrats to advance even a moderate-backed piece of voting legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) denounced Republicans on the chamber floor after the vote failed, switching his vote to “nay” and motioning to bring the bill up for reconsideration. “I want to be clear about what just happened on the floor of the Senate. Every single Republican senator blocked this chamber from having a debate—simply a debate—on protecting Americans’ right to vote in free and fair elections,” Schumer said, according to Axios.
The bill was Democrats’ third attempt at strengthening voting rights after moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) declined to support the party’s sweeping voting bills over the summer. However, he did support the Wednesday vote. The bill was also pushed by President Joe Biden just before the Senate voted. “Democracy – the very soul of America – is at stake,” he said in a statement.