White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested Thursday that Republicans “take a close look” at their “bad ideas” when it comes to “making it harder” for people to vote.
While appearing on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut,” Psaki discussed with host Joy Reid her advice to Republicans on their ideas concerning voting rights, saying maybe “people just don’t want to support them.” The two also talked about the idea of getting rid of the filibuster to pass “voting rights” legislation. (RELATED: ‘Does The Devil Use Microsoft Word Or Google Docs?’: CNN Hosts Mock Republican Criticism That H.R. 1 Was ‘Written In Hell’)
Reid began by playing a clip of Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock speaking in the Senate on the need to pass the For the People Act, or H.R. 1, with or without the filibuster. She then played a video clip of Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said he’d filibuster to block H.R. 1., before introducing Psaki to respond.
“I think that anyone who wants to make it harder to vote, make it less accessible, make it more difficult, and less likely for more people to vote, maybe should take a close look at whether they have bad ideas and people just don’t want to support them,” Psaki replied.
“It should be easier. We should want more people to vote. We should, of course, pass laws to make it easier to vote. We should work with states to make it easier to vote. And so, there are a lot of channels and a lot of efforts that we’re going to support, and I think it may be time for Senator Graham to take a close look at his ideas and why he wants to make it more difficult,” she continued.
Reid then asked Psaki why Democrats wouldn’t just “overrule” Graham with the filibuster, if the White House has had conversations with moderate Democrats to convince them not to work with Graham, and why the White House doesn’t “get behind just ending the filibuster.”
Psaki explained the filibuster is a Senate rule and President Joe Biden is “watching closely” to see what happens. She added, however, that “his preference is not to make changes because he wants Democrats and Republicans to work together.”
Republicans in 43 state legislatures have proposed various laws aimed at fighting voter fraud, but many Democrats have described them as bills meant to suppress the vote from minorities, especially in Georgia. Those proposals, which would require photo IDs to vote and a sufficient reason to vote by absentee ballot, have received widespread criticism from Democrats and other activist groups.