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Photo: Bloomberg / Getty Images

President Biden delivered remarks on Tuesday addressing efforts to curb voting rights in GOP-led states, saying the "21st century Jim Crow assault is real."

Why it matters: Biden noted Republican lawmakers across the United States have introduced nearly 400 bills in the past year in attempts to restrict voting rights. State lawmakers have enacted nearly 30 laws since the 2020 election aimed at restricting ballot access, per a June 21 tally by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

The big picture: Biden implored Congress to take action to protect voting rights by passing the For the People Act as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

  • The president spoke of the historic turnout in the 2020 election as well as the unprecedented challenges mounted against the results by Republicans.
  • "No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny, and such high standards. The big lie is just that. A big lie."
  • Biden added that legislation is "one tool" to protect voting rights, and the Justice Department will be "using its authorities to challenge the onslaught of state laws undermining voting rights."

What he's saying: "There's an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections. An assault on democracy, an assault on liberty. An assault on who we are," Biden said.

  • "They want the ability to reject the final count and ignore the will of the people if their preferred candidate loses," Biden said of lawmakers pushing for voting restrictions.
  • "We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That's not hyperbole," he added.
  • "We have to forge a coalition of Americans of every background and political party. The advocates, the students, the faith leaders, the business executives. And raise the urgency of this moment."
"We're going to face another test in 2022. A new wave of unprecedented voter suppression and raw and sustained election subversion. We have to prepare now."

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

State supreme court approves ballot question on Minneapolis police

A memorial to George Floyd outside the Cup Foods corner store where he died last March. Photo: Nicholas Pfosi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Minneapolis voters will be able to weigh in on the city's police department on the local ballot, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Why it matters: The proposed charter amendment was spurred by mass protests against police brutality after George Floyd's death last year. It would replace the city's police department with a new Department of Public Safety that "could include" police officers "if necessary."

Updated 41 mins ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.

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