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Democratic, Republican row in Senate peaks over voting rights

Sens. Mitch McConnell, left, and Chuck Schumer

The fight in the US Senate over voting rights in the country peaks with the minority leader accusing the majority leader of “trying to break” the upper chamber of Congress.

Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell made the accusation against New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer after the latter suggested that the liberals could bypass conservatives in their attempt to allegedly put an end to attempts to make it harder to vote in America through changing the Senate rules.

The New York Democrat had vowed to force a vote by Jan. 17 on changing the Senate's rules if Republicans block voting rights legislation.

“We anticipate based on what the majority leader has said is that he’s going to try to break the Senate, break the legislative filibuster to make some kind of narrow exception. There’s no such thing as a narrow exception,” he said. “This, in my view, is genuine radicalism.”

McConnell argued that 94 percent of Americans believe it is easy to vote and there was record turnout in the 2020 presidential election.

“It appears as if the majority leader is hellbent to try to break the Senate. His argument is that somehow state legislatures across the country are busily at work trying to make it more difficult for people to work. Of course that’s not happening anywhere in America,” he said. “it’s already against the law to prevent people from voting based on race” and “the Voting Rights Act is still intact… So it’s appropriate to ask the question, ‘What’s going on here?I think this this is an excuse to try to break the Senate.”

Democrats allege that they have been trying to stop Republicans from allegedly making it harder for certain portions of the population to vote but to no avail.

"It's an uphill fight. I don't want to give anybody the illusion that we're there, but hopefully we can get 50 of us to come to an agreement," Schumer told reporters, asserting that Democrats “will not get any Republican cooperation.”

The Democratic initiative follows a green light from President Joe Biden to carve out filibuster in order to counter attempts by Republicans to gain more seats in the 2022 midterm elections to set the scene for the return of former President Donald Trump to power in 2024.

Since Democrats hold majority in both chambers of Congress, bypassing the filibuster could mean effectively passing their desired voting rights.

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