Jan 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats to combine 2 key bills in push for voting rights

  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during a December news conference in Washington, DC.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a December news conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats the House Rules Committee was meeting Wednesday night to combine key provisions of two voting bills and pass the rule before sending it to the Senate for a vote.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement in a letter to Democrats comes a day after President Biden called for a change to the Senate's filibuster rules in an effort to pass voting rights legislation.

The big picture: The new legislation, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, would be a combination of the Senate’s Freedom to Vote Act and the House’s John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

  • The House plans to pass the new legislation on Thursday and send it to the Senate for consideration, according to Pelosi's letter.

What they're saying: "Nothing less than our democracy is at stake," Pelosi said.

The other side: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized Biden's voting rights speech, calling it "divisive" and "profoundly unpresidential."

What to watch: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that the Senate will vote on rule changes to the filibuster by Jan. 17.

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