President Joe Biden will press for Democrat-backed federal election rules in a Friday commencement speech at South Carolina State University, the White House said.
The speech comes as Democrats have pivoted from Biden's beleaguered Build Back Better spending bill to a pair of voting reforms proposed in response to several states' measures to tighten voting laws, such as those on voter identification.
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"You'll hear the president talk about the fact that Republican attacks across the country are not just on limiting who gets to vote, but about changing who gets to count the vote and whose vote is counted," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters flying with Biden to South Carolina on Friday.
"It's a sinister combination of voter suppression and election subversion, which is un-American, un-democratic, but not unprecedented," she said.
Psaki noted that Vice President Kamala Harris is "leading this effort and there's a number of steps we have taken to date."
Reporters pressed Psaki on whether Biden has pressed West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to embrace Democrats' voting rights push, though she did not specifically answer the question. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, remain the two roadblocks to reforming the filibuster and allowing Democrats to pass voting rights legislation with a party vote, and the president spoke with Manchin by phone twice earlier in the week.
"I don't have anything more to read out about the president's conversation with Sen. Manchin," Psaki continued. "He was a part of the Congress — of the voting rights group the President spoke with yesterday, so certainly, part of that is about the path forward, what that looks like, and how to move voting rights legislation into law."
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You can listen to Psaki's entire Friday gaggle below.