President Biden on Thursday offered blistering criticism of attempts by Republican-controlled state legislatures to impose new voting restrictions around the country, calling their efforts “un-American.”
“I’m convinced that we’ll be able to stop this, because it is the most pernicious thing,” Mr. Biden said at his first formal news conference. “This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. I mean, this is gigantic, what they’re trying to do. And it cannot be sustained.”
He vowed to “do everything in my power, along with my friends in the House and the Senate, to keep that from becoming the law.”
At the news conference, Mr. Biden was asked whether he worried that Democrats could lose control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections if they were unable to pass voting rights legislation.
“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is,” Mr. Biden responded. “It’s sick. It’s sick.”
The president said he was going to work on trying to enact a landmark voting rights measure approved by the House this month. The legislation faces dim prospects in the 50-50 Senate, where it takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
Mr. Biden said at the news conference that the filibuster was being “abused in a gigantic way” and signaled that he could ultimately support more aggressive changes to the Senate’s rules in order to clear the way for passing key parts of his agenda.
The president’s comments about voting came on the same day that the Georgia House of Representatives approved legislation to restrict voting access in the state.