Republicans block Democrats' voting rights bill

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: "The motion is not agreed to."

The vote to open debate on a sweeping voting rights bill failed in the Senate on Tuesday, after Republicans blocked Democrats' attempt to advance a measure Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said was critical to democracy.

SCHUMER: "This vote, I'm ashamed to say, is further evidence that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican Party."

Earlier, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - who hopes to win back control of the Senate in 2022 - argued the S. 1 bill infringed on states' rights.

MCCONNELL: "By now, the rotten, inner workings of this power grab have been thoroughly exposed to the light."

Despite all 50 Senate Democrats being united on the vote - after moderate holdout Joe Manchin agreed to vote with his party - they were unable to get the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster and move forward with the measure.

Some congressional Democrats said they hoped losing the vote to open debate on the bill would provide an opportunity to scrap the filibuster rule that allows the minority in the Senate to block most legislation.

Manchin currently stands in the way of that effort, too, along with fellow moderate Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

SCHUMER: "The fight to protect voting rights is not over."

The voting rights bill - known as the For the People Act - has been one of the Democrats' top priorities, as it could offset a wave of laws passed in Republican-controlled states that make it harder to vote.

Republican state legislators have justified their new voting limits - some of which reverse the 2020 election's expanded voting access - by citing former President Donald Trump's continued false claims that his resounding defeat last year was the result of widespread fraud.

But a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last week showed that a majority of Americans generally want to expand access to voting and many oppose the more restrictive measures sought in Republican-controlled states.