Biden Voting Rights Live Updates: Trump Calls Biden Administration an 'Embarrassment'

Live Updates
  • President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks on voting rights legislation at the Atlanta University Center Consortium Tuesday.
  • The visit comes amid growing pressure to pass two pieces of legislation in the Senate.
  • In his speech, Biden supported changing the filibuster rules to pass the voting rights legislation.
  • Biden and Harris participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the crypt of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
  • Biden, Harris and other prominent Democrats advocated for voting rights legislation on the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6.
Biden Harris
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to speak Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia, on voting rights. In this photo, Biden and Harris speak to the media after they delivered remarks at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. Getty

The live updates for this blog have ended.

Trump calls Biden administration an 'embarrassment'

Former President Donald Trump criticized Stacey Abrams's absence at President Joe Biden's speech Tuesday in Atlanta, while maintaining the 2020 election was stolen.

"Stacey Abrams helped Biden steal the 2020 Election in Georgia but now she won't even share a stage with Joe," Trump said in a statement.

"Stacey knows that Biden actually lost BIG in Georgia, and in the 2020 Presidential Election as a whole, and he's been so terrible she now wants nothing to do with him."

"Even the woke, radical left realizes that Joe Biden's Administration is an embarrassment!"

NAACP responded to Biden's speech

The NAACP responded to President Biden's speech today stating, "while President Biden delivered a stirring speech today, it's time for this administration to match their words with actions, and for Congress to do their job. Voting rights should not simply be a priority it must be the priority."

NAACP President Johnson said, "unless President Biden applies the same level of urgency around voting rights as he did for BBB and infrastructure, America may soon be unrecognizable. It's time for this administration to match their words with actions".

Biden: 'Not a single Republican' stood up to Trump

President Joe Biden called out former President Donald Trump during his speech Tuesday in Atlanta, when referencing the 2020 election and protecting voting rights.

"Not a single Republican has displayed the courage to stand up to a defeated President to protect America's right to vote. Not one."

"I know the majority of the world leaders, the good the bad ones,
they're watching American democracy and seeing whether we can meet this moment."

Biden says voters need to be treated equally

"Today we come to Atlanta, the cradle of civil rights, to make clear what must come after that dreadful day when a dagger was literally held at the throat of American democracy," President Joe Biden said during his speech Tuesday.

Biden was speaking about Jan. 6 and the violent mob who was ''empowered'' by a defeated President. He said the group sought to "overturn free and fair elections'' and stop the peaceful transfer of power. ''They failed."

"We're all created equal, more importantly deserve to be treated equally."

In recent years, he explained the Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act. He also said voting options are being taken away, resulting in long lines to cast a ballot.

Biden says in Georgia, it is illegal to bring food or water to people waiting in line, "what in the hell... heck, are we talking about? That's not America."

Biden backs changing filibuster

President Joe Biden called on lawmakers to pass two pieces of voting rights legislation stalled in the Senate during his speech Tuesday in Atlanta.

"Today, we call on Congress to get done what history will judge, pass the Freedom to Vote Act! Pass it now!" Biden said. "Which will prevent voter suppression."

"It's also time to pass the The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. I've been having these quiet conversations with members of Congress for the last two months, I'm tired of being quiet!"

Biden continued to say that if the bare minimum of votes is blocked, there is "no option" but to change the rules and get rid of the filibuster.

Harris promises to fight for right to vote

Vice President Kamala Harris promised to fight for the right to vote during her speech Tuesday afternoon.

"We swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we will," Harris said. "We will fight."

Harris said anti-voter laws could make it more difficult for as many as 55 million Americans, or one in six, to vote.

"Over the past few years, we have seen so many anti-voter laws that there is a danger of becoming accustomed to these laws, a danger of adjusting to these laws as though they are normal, a danger of being complacent, complicit," Harris said.

Harris brought up the two pieces of voting rights legislation stalled in the Senate, saying both present, "the first real opportunity to secure the freedom to vote since the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights act nearly a decade ago."

"Senate must act."

Watch Biden, Harris deliver remarks

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris arrive at the Atlanta University Center Consortium to deliver remarks on voting rights legislation.

The White House says the speeches will address the urgent need to pass legislation to protect the right to vote and the integrity of U.S. elections.


What are the proposed voting rights laws?

In his speech Tuesday, President Joe Biden will show support for the two pieces of voting rights legislation stalled in the Senate.

What would the legislation do?

The Freedom to Vote Act seeks to establish a national standard for how states conduct elections.

Some of the proposed changes include automatic voter registration, allowing same-day voter registration, expanding voting-by-mail, making Election Day a holiday, and establishing 15 days of early voting which would include at least two weekends. It would also establish bipartisan commissions to draw lines for legislative districts.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would also restore federal power to oversee state voting laws. The act focuses on preventing discrimination against minority voters.

As written, it would restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was last reauthorized by Congress in 2006, but gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Biden, Harris arrive at wreath laying ceremony

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are paying their respects at a wreath laying ceremony at the crypt of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Christine King Farris, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sister, is also in attendance.

Senate will act on voting legislation 'as soon as tomorrow'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate will act on voting rights legislation 'as soon as tomorrow.'

"The time has come for the Senate to pass voting rights legislation and take whatever steps necessary to address this chamber's rules in order to accomplish that goal," Schumer said Tuesday.

"The Senate is going to act as soon as tomorrow."

Schumer asked to borrow Senator John Cornyn chart's on the Senate floor, reading 94% of Texas voters said voting was 'easy' in 2020.

"Keep the 2020 laws, maybe we should improve them," Schumer said.

"Right now what we're combating is a series of legislators, 19, 33 laws that will make this number surely go down."

McConnell vows to fight filibuster changes

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will retaliate if filibuster rules are changed.

McConnell made the comments Tuesday morning on the Senate floor, as President Joe Biden was en route to Atlanta, where his speech on voting rights laws will support the rule changes.

"We will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory," McConnell said.

McConnell said a ''post-nuclear Senate'' would not be more efficient nor productive.

"If Democrats blow up Senate rules, millions of Americans will cease to have a voice in the Senate," McConnell tweeted.

"This isn't about new voting laws. It's about silencing voters who inconvenience Democrats."

Senate to change rule votes, Schumer vows

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vows the Senate will protect voting rights, setting a deadline of Jan. 17 to vote on changing rules if Republicans continue blocking legislation.

"By blocking action on voting rights, Senate Republicans are saying they are perfectly fine with laws that restrict how younger, poorer, and non-white Americans typically vote," Schumer tweeted Monday.

"These laws are Jim Crow 2.0. The Senate will act to support our democracy and protect voting rights."

Schumer's proposed deadline is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

POTUS lands in Atlanta

President Joe Biden arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Tuesday just before 1 p.m.

Vice President Kamala Harris joined President Joe Biden as he walked down the steps of Air Force One around 1 p.m.


Stacey Abrams, voting rights groups to skip speech

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will not attend President Joe Biden's speech in Atlanta Tuesday, citing a scheduling conflict.

Abrams; however, expressed support for the President's visit.

"The fight for voting rights takes persistence. As MLK exhorted, "The clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now before it is too late," Abrams tweeted Monday.

"Thank you, @POTUS, for refusing to relent until the work is finished. Welcome back to Georgia where we get good done."

On the way to Atlanta Tuesday, Biden told reporters he had spoken with Abrams and the pair would still work "together."

Abrams is among other voting rights activists who have said they will not attend the speech, including Black Voters Matter.

"We don't need another speech," Black Voters Matter Cofounder Cliff Albright said during an interview on CNN.

"We don't need him to come to Georgia and use us as a prop. We need work."

The Asian American Advocacy Fund is also skipping the event.

AAAF Policy Director Vyanti Joseph said, "It is not the time for another visit. Georgia voters need voting rights today so we can continue to do our work here."

Biden, Harris to visit historic Atlanta sites

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit two historic sites in Atlanta before delivering speeches Tuesday afternoon.

Here's a look at the President and Vice President's scheduled events:

President Joe Biden departed the White House Tuesday morning.

Biden is scheduled to arrive in at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 12:45 p.m.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will pay their respects and participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the crypt of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King at 2:40 p.m.

Biden and Harris will visit the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church at 3 p.m. then deliver remarks on voting rights legislation at the Atlanta University Center Consortium at 3:50 p.m.

The President is set to return to the White House Tuesday around 8:00 p.m.

What to expect from Biden's speech

President Joe Biden says his speech Tuesday will come before a 'turning point' in the U.S., when the Senate votes on two voting rights bills.

An excerpt of Biden's remarks was released by the White House Tuesday morning.

"The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation," the remarks read.

"Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light overshadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so, the question is, where will the institution of United States Senate stand?"

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will speak at the Atlanta University Center Consortium on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University Tuesday afternoon.

'Congress must debate and vote'

President Joe Biden is preparing to travel to Atlanta Tuesday where he will deliver a major speech on voting rights legislation.

"History has never been kind to those who have sided with voter suppression over voting rights," Biden tweeted early Tuesday.

"And it will not be kind to those who fail to defend the right to vote. Congress must debate and vote on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

Biden is set to depart the White House at 10:40 a.m. and scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 12:45 p.m.

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