1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority leader:
"Well as the Majority leader (Chuck Schumer) said: The voting rights bill is intact. The law extends well into the future. What this rewrite of it does is grant to the Justice Department almost total ability to determine the voting systems of every state in America, which they're trying to do directly through H.R. 1. They would try to achieve indirectly through this rewrite of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court did not strike down the Voting Rights Act. It's still the law. What they struck down was the preclearance part of it. It applied only to the southern part of the United States because the Supreme Court concluded that conditions that existed in 1965 no longer existed. So, there's no threat to the voting rights law. It's against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already. And so, I think it's unnecessary."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. John Barrasso, (R) Wyoming:
"The negotiations ongoing with the White House on infrastructure have hit a significant roadblock. Republicans are committed to working on infrastructure the way that most Americans think of infrastructure, roads and bridges, waterways, ports, airports and broadband. The administration doesn't seem to want to go that way. They are ordering, including lots of things that are not what the traditional infrastructure ideas would include. They're focused on climate change, social welfare, those sorts of things, and they want to have massive tax increases to pay for it. We've seen that now coming from the administration. Republicans have been very clear we are not going to raise taxes."
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters at a Tuesday news conference the Voting Rights Act update is "unnecessary" because only the pre-clearance portion of that law was struck down by the Supreme Court.
"It's against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already," McConnell told reporters.
He added: "What this rewrite of it does is grant to the Justice Department almost total ability to determine the voting systems of every state in America. What they're trying to do directly through H.R. 1, they would try to achieve indirectly through this rewrite of the Voting Rights Act."
The Senate GOP leader's comments come as opposition grows to a sprawling election bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said is crucial to countering a "Republican assault on our democracy."
The bill, known as HR1, is a top priority for Democrats and is viewed by many in the party as the antidote to a wave of Republican-backed laws being passed on the state level that restrict people's ability to vote.
It touches on almost every aspect of voting and was already passed by the House.
Pelosi had told House Democrats there is no substitute for the bill.
McConnell also addressed questions on the need for a commission to address the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
"I think it's unnecessary," he said.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso also discussed ongoing negations on President Joe Biden's infrastructure package.
Biden on Friday dismissed a fresh Republican infrastructure proposal that offered modestly more spending but fell short of "his objectives to grow the economy," the White House said.
His reaction cast further doubt on the two parties' prospects for striking compromise on one of the administration's chief legislative priorities as deadlines slip and time runs out to make progress toward a deal.
"The negotiations ongoing with the White House on infrastructure have hit a significant roadblock, "Barrasso said.
They're focused on climate change and social welfare, those sorts of things, and they want to have massive tax increases to pay for it."
"Republicans have made it very clear we're not going to raise taxes."
Elections , Voting , Discrimination , Racial and ethnic discrimination , Race and ethnicity , Racial and ethnic discrimination , Social affairs , Social issues , Human rights and civil liberties , Voting rights , National governments , National courts , Judiciary , Courts , National courts , Supreme courts , Government and politics , Legislature , Legislation , Bills
John Barrasso , Nancy Pelosi , Joe Biden , Charles Schumer , Mitch McConnell
U.S. Republican Party, United States Congress, United States Senate, United States government, Supreme Court of the United States