Republicans have blocked a bid to allow voters standing in line to be given water

Republicans have blocked a bid to allow voters standing in line to be given water
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  • Republicans have rejected a proposal that would permit US citizens to receive refreshments while they wait to vote.

  • The Senate House Rules Committee on Monday rejected an amendment to prevent states from banning volunteers distributing food and water.

  • The proposal came in response to a controversial voting rights bill signed into law by Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in March.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Republicans have rejected a proposal that would permit US citizens in states like Georgia to receive water and other refreshments while they are waiting in line to vote.

The Senate House Rules Committee on Monday rejected an amendment to prevent states from banning volunteers who were distributing food and water to voters queuing to vote.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, who sits on the House Rules Committee, had proposed the bill in response to a controversial voting rights bill signed into law by Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in March.

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But no Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the amendment, meaning it failed, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer reported. Republican members include Sens. Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

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The vote came during a Senate hearing on the For The People Act, a Democratic-led bill introduced to Congress in March to expand voting rights.

The controversial bill to outlaw the handing out of refreshments in Georgia is the 98-page Election Integrity Act of 2021, or SB 202, which brings sweeping changes to voting and elections law in Georgia.

It has been widely criticized for what voting rights advocates said was a deliberate attempt to reduce the influence of Black voters who helped President Joe Biden win the presidency.

Among the changes are provisions in Section 33 of the bill, which states that no person is legally permitted to "give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink."

The limits apply within 150 feet of voting locations and within 25 feet of voting lines, but it does permit volunteers and election officials to set up water stations that voters can go to of their own across.

It came after volunteers and activists in Georgia and other states handed out food and water to voters waiting in hours-long queues to vote during November's presidential election, Insider's Grace Panetta reported.

Gov. Kemp defended the law and called it "another step to making our elections fair and secure."

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