PHILADELPHIA – President Joe Biden is delivering remarks on voting rights Tuesday afternoon at a contentious time in the U.S. when legislators in several states are pushing for stricter voting laws that would limit voter access.
Watch live at 2:50 p.m. in the video player below.
Officials say the president will discuss “protecting the right to vote” on Tuesday while visiting Philadelphia.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. “He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws.”
Biden’s speech comes as several Republican-controlled states are enacting voting restrictions, or at least debating them, following false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
President Joe Biden will lay out the “moral case” for voting rights as he faces growing pressure from civil rights activists and other Democrats to combat efforts by Republican-led state legislatures to restrict access to the ballot.
Biden has declared that protecting voting rights was the central cause of his presidency, but the White House has taken sharp criticism from allies for not doing more while contending with political headwinds and stubborn Senate math that have greatly restricted its ability to act.
Biden’s speech Tuesday in Philadelphia, to be delivered at the National Constitution Center, is intended as the opening salvo of a public pressure campaign, White House aides said, even as legislative options to block voting restrictions face significant obstacles.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday as she previewed the speech. “He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws.”
Several states have enacted voting restrictions, and others are debating them, as Republicans have seized on former President Donald Trump’s false claim of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election as a pretense for curtailing ballot access.
Psaki said Monday that Biden will vow to “overcome the worst challenge to our democracy since the Civil War.” But aides have suggested that his address will not contain much in the way of new proposals.
Democrats on Capitol Hill have already tried to respond with a sweeping voting and elections bill that Senate Republicans united to block. Most Republicans have similarly dismissed a separate bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore sections of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court previously weakened.