President Joe Biden on Tuesday made a full-throated appeal for U.S. voting rights legislation stalled in Congress, saying Democratic lawmakers should rewrite Senate rules to overcome Republican opposition.
In a speech designed to breathe life into the fight to pass federal voting laws and convince skeptical Democrats of his commitment, Biden called many Republicans cowardly and committed to changing the US Senate "filibuster" to pass legislation.
Calling it a "battle for the soul of America," the Democratic president put the voting rights effort on par with the fight against segregation by slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Former President Donald Trump maintains the 2020 election was stolen by Democrats through voter fraud, despite investigations' finding no supporting evidence. Since then, Republican lawmakers in 19 states have passed dozens of laws making it harder to vote. Critics say these measures target minorities, who vote in greater proportions for Democrats.
Biden on Tuesday said Republicans must choose which side of history they want to be on, as he contrasted civil rights heroes with the country's most ardent white supremacists.