President Joe Biden called a sweeping elections law signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in the week an "atrocity," and said the Department of Justice is "taking a look" at the measure.
The new law includes provisions to need voter identification for absentee ballots, limit the utilization of ballot drop boxes, give state officials more power over elections and make it a criminal offense to supply voters food and water as they wait in line.
Critics argue that the law disproportionately affects Black voters, who were critical to recent Democratic victories. Mr. Biden narrowly won the state within the 2020 election, and Georgia sent two Democrats to the Senate after special elections in May.Asked by reporters on Friday how the White House could answer the bill, Mr. Biden said "we're performing on that immediately ."
"We do not know quite exactly what we will do at now . The Justice Department's taking a glance also ," Mr. Biden said. He told reporters that the bill was an "atrocity."
"It has nothing to try to to with fairness, nothing to try to to with decency. They passed the law saying you cannot provide water for people standing in line while they're waiting to vote? you do not need anything to understand that this is often nothing but punitive, designed to stay people from voting. you cannot provide water for people close to vote? Give me an opportunity ," he said.
In a statement released earlier on Friday, the president urged Congress to pass voting rights legislation that might counter the Georgia law and other bills proposed by Republican state legislatures across the country that might make voting harder .
"This law, like numerous others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country may be a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience," Mr. Biden said. He noted that longer lines at the polls disproportionately affected Black voters in metropolitan areas, as Republican officials have reduced the amount of polling sites in their neighborhoods.
"This is Jim Crow within the 21st Century. It must end. we've an ethical and constitutional obligation to act. I once more urge Congress to pass the For the People Act and therefore the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to form it easier for all eligible Americans access the box and stop attacks on the sacred right to vote," Mr. Biden continued.
The House recently passed the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that address elections and elections and campaign finance reform. However, it's unlikely to pass within the Senate, where most Republicans have expressed opposition to the bill. Democrats only have a 50-seat majority within the Senate, and most legislation requires 60 votes to advance.
Even if Democrats eliminated the filibuster, which might lower the edge to an easy majority, some Democrats have also expressed concerns about the bill. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said in the week that he believed the bill should be narrowed, and Democrats and Republicans should attempt to pass voting rights legislation on a bipartisan basis. Manchin is additionally against ending the filibuster.
In a letter to Democratic colleagues on Thursday, Senate legislator Chuck Schumer said that the Senate Judiciary Committee would soon take up the toilet Lewis Voting Rights Act, which might restore provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court. just like the For the People Act, it's unlikely to receive the needed support from 60 senators.
Meanwhile, Republicans argue that the Georgia bill doesn't amount to voter suppression. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said that "the cries of 'voter suppression' from those on the left ring hollow." Kemp said that it made elections safer."There is nothing 'Jim Crow' about requiring a photograph or state-issued ID to vote by ballot . Every Georgia voter must already do so when voting in-person," Kemp said on Friday.