Former President Barack Obama spoke out about politics once again on Monday as he claimed that Congress needs to pass voting rights legislation before the 2022 midterm elections, or American democracy will be at risk.
“We can’t wait until the next election because if we have the same kinds of shenanigans that brought about Jan. 6, if we have that for a couple more election cycles, we’re going to have real problems in terms of our democracy long-term,” Obama said during a call with grassroots supporters alongside his former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Obama went on to add that debate over the voting rights bill, which is known as the For the People Act, was worth it for him to engage in political debate despite being aware that former presidents do not typically do this.
“Since I left office I’ve tried to make a policy not to weigh in on the day-to-day scrum in Washington,” Obama said, according to The Hill. “But what’s happening this week is more than just a partisan bill coming up or not coming up to a vote.”
The bill currently does not have enough support to overcome a filibuster, which would require ten Republican senators to back it. Not a single Republican senator has supported the bill at this time.
Democrats are still trying to push the bill through despite changes made to the bill at the request of Senator Joe Manchin (W.VA), who is known as the most conservative leftist in Congress. Obama himself said that the changes to the bill were made by “the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, or maybe in Congress — Joe Manchin of West Virginia — to come up with common sense reforms that a majority of Americans agree with, that Democrats and Republicans can agree with.”
“Despite what you may have heard, we believe there is a path forward for this bill to get passed,” said Holder, who is now chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. He noticeably did not elaborate on what this path forward would be.
Later in the call, Obama attacked the filibuster, which he said is not in the Constitution and “allows a determined minority of senators to block legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans.”