Credit: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, AP
Political Rewind: Federal voting rights bill blocked as Biden marks first year in office
Kevin Riley — Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Margaret Coker — Editor-in-chief, The Current
Riley Bunch — Public policy reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Tia Mitchell — Washington reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. Attempt to pass federal voting rights legislation in U.S. Senate blocked by Republicans.
- A pair of bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, were debated among congress members yesterday.
- Ultimately, Republicans blocked a floor vote on two pieces of federal voting rights legislation using the Senate filibuster.
- And an attempt to change Senate rules, which would allow Democrats to bypass the filibuster on their way to a vote on federal voting rights, failed to pass as well.
- The vote crystallized a fracture within the Democratic party, as Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona broke from their party to oppose a rule change Democratic members are calling a direly needed move to protect democracy.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent Tia Mitchell said a new, different federal election bill could be brought forward in the near future.
2. A year in review; the first 365 days of the Biden administration.
- The president's approval ratings remain low as we pass the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
- According to polling from RealClearPolitics, only 42% of respondents approved of Biden's performance as of Jan. 18. Meanwhile, 52% disapproved of his performance, according to the same poll.
- The president's first term saw a debilitating pandemic, economic uncertainty, a chaotic withdrawal in Afghanistan and perceived inaction on voters' issues.
- But Biden did gain several notches on his belt over the first year of his presidency, including an infrastructure bill and a sweeping stimulus package.
3. Longtime U.S. Rep. David Scott receives a primary challenge from a progressive-minded candidate.
- Vincent Fort, a former Democratic state senator, announced Thursday his entry into the race for the Atlanta-based district.
- Scott is currently in his 10th term representing Ga.'s 13th Congressional District. He was first elected to public office in 1974 as a member of the Georgia House.
- Fort gained the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during a 2017 run for Atlanta mayor.
- Fort told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he entered the race because the district "needs someone who believes in Democratic ideals, and someone who doesn’t vote like a South Georgia Republican."
4. Gubernatorial candidate David Perdue calls for an "Election Law Enforcement Division" as he continues to spread misinformation regarding the 2020 election.
- The former U.S. senator is attacking incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp for not doing enough to overturn the last presidential election results in Georgia.
Tomorrow on Political Rewind:
We return with a live video broadcast of our show, which will be posted on GPB.org and on Facebook.com/gpbnews.