Months after the first bill of the 2021 legislative session, For the People Act, failed all but failed in the U.S. Congress with the measure stalling in the Senate, Democrats across the country are not ready to give up on the bill. As Republicans rev up “election integrity” measures and audit in state legislatures across the country, Democrats flock to Capitol Hill to revive the dead For the People Act.
Florida’s own, Rep. Carlos G. Smith (D-49), one of the most progressive members of the Florida House, spoke at an event entitled “Recess Can Wait” in hopes to delay the Congressional recess until Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) passes the For the People Act.
Smith also added in a Tweet that we need these expansive voter reforms “especially after [Governor DeSantis] signed SB 90!”:
Proud to be speaking at the #RecessCanWait rally in DC today calling upon @SenSchumer + Congress to delay recess until the #ForthePeopleAct is passed — we urgently need these reforms in Florida to protect our right to vote, especially after @GovRonDeSantis signed SB 90! 🗳 pic.twitter.com/LvCVMJlTlQ
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) August 3, 2021
In his speech this week, Smith called Florida’s recent election reforms “The big lie” adding that the bill puts up “deliberate barriers to make it harder for our people to vote. Floridians just like Americans, all Americans need national standards, we need a federal standard, and we need elections infrastructure.”
“We call on the US Senate to pass the For the People Act before the August recess and we call on President Biden to use his power and influence to get this done. Pick a side, voting rights or a fillibuster?!” – Rep. Smith in Washington D.C.
However, Smith wasn’t alone in his pilgrimage to the nation’s capitol, as the Washington Post reported over 100 state legislators representing 20 different states are joining the Texas state Democrats who fled their state over Republican-led election integrity laws.
In response to the loud push against “voter suppression,” the Florida House Majority Twitter account bashed the movement claiming “@FLHouseDems went to DC to ask for free and fair elections not realizing Florida already had all that.” The House Majority account then listed these statistics on voting in the Sunshine State:
“No excuse absentee voting. Six weeks of early voting. Safe and secure drop boxes. Fla citizen-backed Voter ID” further implying the lack of any “voter suppression” in Florida, as the consensus seems to equate to voting being easier in Florida than in other big blue states such as Deleware.
Although Democrats across the country show to be united in their front for the “For the People Act”, it still appears unlikely to pass in the Senate. The bill would require 60 votes that they currently don’t have after the bill split 50-50 last time around. Besides, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have resisted the Democrats’ call to eliminate the filibuster, which they claim is the reason the bill failed.