'Have you no shame?': Biden slams Republican voter suppression efforts


President Joe Biden said Congress needs to pass voting rights laws to stop the Republican-led effort to 'suppress and subvert the right to vote.'

President Joe Biden on Tuesday slammed the GOP's all-out assault on voting rights, calling the Republican efforts to make it harder to vote "an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, [and] an assault on who we are as Americans."

"Have you no shame?" Biden said of Republicans, adding that GOP state legislatures have passed more than two dozen laws in 17 states that make it harder to vote. 

He described the Republican effort as "the 21st Century Jim Crow."

Biden made the speech from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a symbolic location where he described GOP-led efforts to implement more voting restrictions and to throw out legitimate votes as "election subversion."

"We're facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War," Biden said.

He didn't specifically mention former President Donald Trump by name. However, he alluded to his predecessor and the failed attempt he made to steal the election through the courts, pointing to the fact that dozens of courts threw out Trump and his allies' lawsuits seeking to overturn the results.

"In America, if you lose, you accept the results," Biden said. "You follow the Constitution. You can try again. You don't call facts fake and then try to bring down the American experiment just because you're unhappy. That's not statesmanship. That's selfishness."

In order to combat Republican voter suppression, Biden said Congress needs to pass the For the People Act, which would prevent nearly all Republican voter suppression laws from being enforceable.

The For the People Act would expand voting by mail, prohibit some use of voter ID, end partisan gerrymandering, and make it easier to register to vote by requiring all states to adopt automatic voter registration systems.

Senate Republicans, however, blocked the For the People Act from passing utilizing the filibuster.

Because of the filibuster and the current composition of the Senate, which has a 50-50 partisan divide, Democrats need 10 Republicans to support legislation to even allow it to get to a debate — and not a single GOP lawmaker voted for the For the People Act.

Biden's speech came as Democratic state lawmakers from Texas are waging a major protest, leaving their state to deny Republicans a quorum — or enough present lawmakers — to pass Texas' version of a voter suppression law.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who has taken the lead on voting rights for the Biden administration, plan to meet with the group of Texas lawmakers who are currently in Washington, D.C., to demand Congress pass voting rights legislation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.