President Biden and Vice President Harris on Tuesday underscored the need to protect voting rights at a holiday fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
"The struggle is no longer just who gets to vote or make it easy for eligible people to vote. It's about who gets to count the vote - whether your vote counts at all," Biden told a crowd of a few hundred donors and party officials at a gathering at the Hotel Washington.
"It's a sinister combination of voter suppression and election subversion," Biden said. "It's un-American, it's undemocratic, it's unpatriotic and sadly, it is not unprecedented."
Biden's remarks, which lasted roughly 10 minutes, also included a pitch for his Build Back Better agenda. He urged its passage as Democratic senators negotiate a final package in hopes of getting it to Biden's desk in the coming weeks.
Harris similarly emphasized voting rights in introducing Biden, warning that access to the ballot was under attack across the country through laws passed by GOP legislatures. Harris also expressed frustration with laws in Texas and elsewhere that have restricted access to abortion.
"We stand for women's rights and we believe that the right of a woman to make a decision about her own body is nonnegotiable," she said.
Biden and Harris spoke with donors and supporters as their agenda faces a critical juncture. The Build Back Better package faces an uncertain future in the Senate as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voices concerns about moving forward too hastily, and advocates are growing frustrated about inaction on voting rights, gun laws and immigration, among other subjects.
The DNC celebration took place on the same day the White House indicated it would not host its traditional holiday parties amid concerns about the coronavirus. Instead, it will hold private tours for lawmakers and other guests to view Christmas decorations inside the building.