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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says that Republicans 'want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election'

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Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed the proposed Texas voting bill as "shameful."

  • After Trump's 2020 loss, GOP lawmakers across the country have enacted new barriers to voting.

  • President Joe Biden on Saturday blasted the Texas legislation, calling it "un-American."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York on Sunday blasted the restrictive Texas voting bill on the cusp of being signed into law, arguing that Republicans in the Lone Star State and across the country "want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election."

During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, slammed Republicans for pushing to enact a wave of new voting restrictions.

"The Texas law is shameful, and Republicans clearly in Texas and throughout the country want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election," he said. "That's the only way that I can interpret the voter suppression epidemic that we see working its way from one state, Georgia to Arizona to Texas, and all across the country, in so many different ways."

He added: "Fundamental to our democracy is the right to vote, self-government, that the American people get to decide and work for a democracy that reflects the voices of all Americans, not just a certain segment, not just conservatives, not just Republicans, not just people in certain parts of the country, all Americans."

The GOP-controlled Texas state Senate passed a massive elections bill in the early Sunday morning hours, according to The Texas Tribune, which would ban drive-thru voting voting and uninterrupted early voting, tighten ID requirements for mail-in ballots, and limit early voting hours, among other measures.

The GOP focus on early voting is significant because 24-hour voting was popular among many blue-collar and shift workers in the vote-rich, Democratic-dominated city of Houston, the county seat of Harris County.

Read more: A multitude of Trump-era mysteries are poised to come roaring back into the headlines. Everyone involved is bracing for what happens after that.

If the state Senate bill is approved by the state House, it will then head to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, who strongly supports the legislation.

President Joe Biden on Saturday blasted the legislation, calling it "un-American."

"Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote," he said in a statement. "It's part of an assault on democracy that we've seen far too often this year - and often disproportionately targeting Black and Brown Americans."

He added: "It's wrong and un-American. In the 21st century, we should be making it easier, not harder, for every eligible voter to vote."

Biden then urged lawmakers to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which both face difficult roads in the Senate due to the threat of GOP filibusters.

For months, Democrats have delivered blistering criticism regarding similar legislation in Georgia and Florida, arguing that the restrictive voting bills are unnecessary and a result of former President Donald Trump's election lies.

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