WASHINGTON — Democrats pushed forward on Tuesday with what appeared to be a futile bid to enact voting rights protections over Republican opposition, taking up legislation that they said was urgently needed to counter widespread balloting suppression efforts and laying out a plan to try to steer it around G.O.P. obstruction. Using a procedural shortcut, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, avoided a Republican blockade that has stalled the legislation for months to force it to the floor. But Democrats were far short of the votes needed to win its passage over Republican opposition, and lacked the votes needed in their own party to change Senate rules and enact it unilaterally. Still, they announced that they would mount a long-shot effort to establish an exception to the filibuster for voting rights bills, requiring opponents to hold the floor for an old-style "talking filibuster" that would allow a final, 51-senator majority vote — instead of the 60 now needed — to move forward after all senators had exhausted their opportunities to speak. "If the Senate cannot protect the right to vote, which is the cornerstone of our democracy, then the Senate rules must be reformed," Mr…. Read full this story
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