Republican senator accuses opposition to GOP’s restrictive voting laws of playing ‘race card’

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Republican US Senator John Cornyn has accused opponents of restrictive voting laws filed by GOP lawmakers across the US of invoking the “race card” as voting rights advocates warn of their disproportionate impacts to voters of colour.

“Once you play the race card, it’s hard for people to think clearly because it tugs at our emotions,” the senator from Texas said in a floor speech on Wednesday.

“It tugs at our collective, frankly, guilt, emanating from the earliest days of country that we’ve come a long way to try to rectify,” he said.

He accused opponents of spreading “propaganda” by characterising GOP-sponsored bills – drafted by a right-wing think tank in the wake of Republican losses and Donald Trump’s spurious legal effort to toss out millions of ballots – as a voter suppression campaign.

His remarks come as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer intends to bring the For The People Act, a sweeping voting rights and elections ethics bill, to the Senate floor for a vote, despite opposition from Republicans as well as centrist Democrat Joe Manchin.

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