Joe Biden accused of ‘unpresidential’ behaviour and ‘pure demagoguery’ over filibuster push

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday outlined a strategy to ensure a Senate floor debate on voting rights, after three separate attempts last year were stymied by Republicans.

Under the plan, outlined in a Schumer memo to fellow Democrats that was seen by Reuters, the House of Representatives will soon repackage two election-related bills into one and pass it. It would then go to the Senate under a special procedure preventing Republicans from blocking debate.

“We will finally have an opportunity to debate voting rights legislation – something that Republicans have thus far denied,” Mr Schumer wrote in the memo.

But if Republicans remain united in opposition, even that bill will not pass the Senate unless all Democrats agree to change the filibuster, he said.

Centrist Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are opposed to the idea, saying it would cause turmoil with every change of control in Washington.

Mr Schumer has set a deadline for a vote on the election reforms by the Jan 17 holiday honoring the slain civil rights hero Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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