BREAKING: Biden admin claims controversial voting act is a 'national security issue'

The White House responds to Senator Manchin's refusal to vote in favor of expansive For the People Act, saying the act has "broad support from the American people."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

Speaking to reporters on Monday, National Security Advisor Andrew Sullivan stated that the failure to pass the For the People Act would be a national security issue.

"If it is not passed," Sullivan was asked, "what is the national security issue? Is there a national security issue if it's not passed?"

"I would say," Sullivan replied, "the basic notion of democratic reform and voting rights in the United States is a national security issue."

"We are in a competition of models with autocracies, and we are trying to show the world that American democracy and democracy writ large can work, can effectively deliver the will of the people," Sullivan continued.

"And to the extent that we are updating, refurbishing, revamping our processes and procedures to meet the need of the modern moment then we are not going to be as successful in making that case to the rest of the world," he said. "There is a national security dimension to this today, just as there was through the decades of the cold war."

PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked about voting rights as well, she wanted to know if congress being briefed on the idea that voting rights is a national security issue? And if it isn't passed, what will that say globally, given the fact that you just laid it out as a national security issue?"

Sullivan said "I don't tend to get into the debates up on the Hill on issues like voting rights, all I can say is the bottom line principle, not specific questions about the vehicle or the time frame. But rather the fundamental principle, which is that a strong, vibrant American democracy that protects voting rights is the best way for us to make the case to the world that our model, and not some other model, is the right model to vindicate the will of the people here in the United States."

When pressed for a reaction to Senator Manchin (D-WV) having stated that he will not be backing the For the People Act in the senate, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden's view is that he should work on "making voting more accessible for people across the country, making it easier and not harder to vote."

"And he's made it clear that there's a real need for federal legislation to protect the sacred right to vote, and we are not going to wait for congress either. That's why we've taken some steps through our Department of Justice, and also why he's asked the Vice President to lead this effort, both in working with congress but at the state level.

"As you noted there are some problematic laws that have moved forward and also some states across the country. I think where we are at this point is clearly Senator Manchin has stated his point of view in his opinion piece over the weekend, which many of you it sounds like have read, as did we.

"But the president's view is that we need to move forward not just with the John Lewis Voting Rights Act but also with legislation like the For the People Act, which enjoys, I should note, broad support from the American people.

"And because it does a couple of things that he thinks are essential: It provides basic protections for registering to vote and how we cast a ballot, it will prevent politicians from drawing congressional district lines for partisan advantage, to ensure that people are choosing representatives, it will help end the corrupting power of money in politics," Psaki said.


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