The Breakdown: Showdown over voting rights in the Senate

Plus, U.S. expected to miss President Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal and New York voters head to the polls to rank their top choices for mayor.
25:41 | 06/22/21

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Transcript for The Breakdown: Showdown over voting rights in the Senate
It. Hi everyone welcome to the breakdown I'm Diana stayed out and. And I'm Terry Moran the United States senate is set to hold a procedural vote on an election reform bill today and that vote appears doomed to fail. Democratic senators Joseph Manchin of West Virginia and curses and Arizona had he said they won't vote to end a filibuster that senate rule which allows the minority don't block the majority on medications and Democrats would likely need captain. Overcome Republican opposition to this bill imagine says he will vote to begin debate on the bill. After reportedly negotiating changes late into the night and now former president Barack Obama is endorsing those changes and calling it a product of compromise. Breakdown the boat. And whether those changes. Could move the needle here meanwhile on the Yorkers are headed to the polls today to vote in the democratic primaries which could decide the next mayor of New York City. But for the first time voters will be able to rank the candidates in their order up. Preference he can't have a ranked choice voting work so what it could mean for future elections. And the United States is expected to miss president Biden's goal of getting 70% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose by the fourth of July we're gonna fall short on that what it means for the fight. Against the pandemic in just a moment. But we begin with that senate voted perspective in just a few hours and there's will consider a sweeping voting rights bill. Backed by Democrats is widely expected to fail because of the lack of Republican support this says GOP backed bills suites sweep state legislatures across the country effectively. Limiting voter access in many areas in response. To the 22 wecht Tory election and form president trumps false claims of fraud there in the senate bill. What requires states to offer same day voter registration for federal elections. It would voters would also be guaranteed the ability to register online. And vote early for at least fifteen days voting sites would have to be open for at least ten hours occurred at all aimed obviously get more people to polls. So joining us to discuss the vote and where the battle goes from here. ABC's political director Rick Klein. Rick so the Democrats have any shot at getting this bill passed with pres Obama as intervention saying he supports what mansion is doing. No defeated fifty votes at which they appear poised yet is an exact. Majority when you have a tiebreaking vote but it is not sixty votes which is the flesh told you need to break a filibuster and this debate has not changed said the mansion said the cinema may be other senators' minds about the filibuster this is about political positioning. Either putting their their best foot forward they're giving it their best effort but there's no realistic way. That this law this fills you become law frankly it was never going to become law and I think the advocates around it knew it they wanted it is protect primarily a messaging device. And potentially as an argument to change the senate rules are now the argument goes out of the public because these senators not. Change that position even those at a mansion is supporting this bill. Well. That the Democrats did and Joseph mansion and others did try to get at the substance of this and try to reach a compliment compromise we've learned that mansion. Is going to be voting to move this legislation Ford after winning some concessions he'd asked for. Did he say what he got. In to get him on board here. And the Republicans I understand you know would they were asking for some of the things that he's put in this bill now. Is it going to be one Republican votes given that they got some of what they want at least for mansion. Almost certainly not doesn't like it will be any Republicans what's interesting about the mansion proposals there's one thing at particular who has a requirement. That voter ID be used Indian in ascertaining identity. At the polls now some states require that already but most Democrats out at least the national level have opposed that they think it's a particular hardship. On not minority and older voters voters who may not have access to that this same government services maybe homeless voters as well. I bid but this appears to be some give on that issue that has a broadly popular provision. Due to some democrats' minds this is exposing Republicans. Is never be serious about negotiations in the first place although Republicans have other reasons for opposing this bill that is though it had a significant movement in terms of the policy debate. Not a this is gonna pass but it but it is a pretty big pretty big concession for Democrats to go along with that proposal from some of the mansion. And to what extent is he says it does kind of call the republicans' bluff on the things don't want a bill here it seems that president Biden's prompted play every tool used to supposedly says to get this passed. So what other tools does he have to. What's the next movie I know friends here if you look at the tolls are working what he could do what is saudis call that use the bully pulpit to try to get people soliciting congress and around the around the country put more pressure on senators he could start from scratch with a new bill was doesn't foreclose that pop that possibility there's another bill that John Lewis voting rights act the much more modest effort. That might still get traction in both the house and the senate he's also already empowered his Justice Department with looking at some of the new voting restrictions that have been put in particularly in Republican states. And he can he can continue to it to use leverage livers powers of the secular branch in that direction but this was the biggest priority to Democrats put forward. I may have failed and you can't take away the from the Republican opposition the fact that much of it. Has been inspired by the deep doubt that was sold in the election based on the lies the president trump. I many of allies that have told that was the inspiration for what's happened in many states. I'm if not the only reason for opposing this bill as I don't think it it was it certainly played a role in how Republicans view the issue of voting rights right now. It does show the corrosive a fact this got a false claims about. Elections this election as safe and secure as any we've ever had that's been demonstrated in the courts and all the second is a state senator Ted a Justice Department. So it usually said that Deb politics is again in addition. Not subtraction so why why Republicans. Not like a bill that would get more people of the polls legacy they don't like the the mass of the people. Who these measures would help vote. Well one thing they're talking about up for quite extensively is that this bill does do a lot to lead to enhanced they'd be the ability of people put to vote. But it also does other things like public financing of campaigns it also federalized is a lot of the regulations are round elections Republicans point our that. Elections are run by states and are done so for a reason that if indeed no reason that the voting in Maine or Delaware should be exactly the same as Colorado or new Yorker California. And this goes and a significant way down that road. To be honest Terry this is not a bill that was initially introduced with the thought that it was going to become law as weird as that sounds it was put forward by the Democrats. A when they were out of power I they like the principles many of them would like it to become law but that really wasn't the initial intent in when they've when they put this together. The deeds became something bigger than that any became the vehicle for a lot of the hopes and aspirations of Democrats particularly with Republicans going so dramatically in the other direction. And they hope that this would expose some divisions among Republicans. That appears not to have. Happen. And it is trumps party no question about it Rick Klein. Thanks very much as always. Thank you get so it now thanks Rick so now for more on this let's go to somebody rush from the front lines there in the United States senate democratic senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico thanks for being with us senator. Don't think certainly. So other Republicans and and a leader in the senate Mitch McConnell led they have a blanket objection to what this bill is about that they have essentially accused the Democrats your party trying to stage a federal takeover of the entire voting system. McConnell said that claims of racism have been debunked any points to high African American turnout. Last fall so what's your response to that. Well I think many of these days lost were in direct response to high African Americans are now allow us hall. And there is one party that is trying to stay. Consistently take voting access away. And overweight from black brown and young voters because. We saw in co edited when you make it easy for people ashore loopholes they do. And I think that is the threat along with sort of conspiracy through late from Donald truck that has put the Republican Party where they are. On society voting rights is Monroe. Senator senator mentions changes to this bill including his proposal for a voter ID requirements. Well I think that is devil's in the details there in terms of how you can by critics if it's only a federal ID. Lori. SE issue driver's license. That's something that a lot of my constituents in very rural. Tribal communities he said are often times don't have. My understanding of the conversations is that it goes a lot true that. You know an electric bills for example could be used. Cheated to get access to the polls. We've shown that we can do elections in New Mexico without voter ID and nature and an actor be able to to her to run the autopsy showed that we don't. We don't have voter fraud. But if we're gonna help some compromise that's fine. We have to start from the point that the right to vote by every lawful American is not something that you you know I would say beware with with the state law. If this were to the party line votes there are other Democrat to win there's fifty Democrats and the vice president would cast the decisive vote but of course we're looking at the filibusters so. Senator Kirsten cinema of Arizona Democrat you made news today with her op Ed in the Washington Post opposing the filibuster. Pouring cold water on the ended the Democrats could get rid of those rules in order advance their agenda. And here's what she wretch is stretched my support for retaining this sixty vote threshold that's the filibuster. Is not based on the importance of any particular policies based on what's best for our democracy the filibuster she says compels moderation. And helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy polls. So senator you've spoken out in favor of ending the filibuster what do you make of her -- is a classic argument that that you know it descended the world's greatest debating society whatever. Have to come together in a way no other body does what what do you think about her argument. You know I just don't really get stanza choose that moment where the facts. It's impact today as it's being used in the United States senator I've seen the filibuster. Bringing people together and that's not what's happening at the moment EC used. To permit any progress whatsoever and it's largely being used by Mitch McConnell. To choose you know from according view that says he would rather see the president sale lead that the country succeed. So I think you have to consider that fact the usual luster. Was not. Rule in the senate for many years reforms created it is they've rule. And the right to vote is a bright and in my view rice should drop rules say it is more important to protecting constitutional. Rights of lawful Americans be able to cast a ballot. Then it 8080 rule that is really shown that it is at this point being used more often than not. And senator regardless today's vote is not expected to pass senator Schumer says he wants to hold the vote anyway. To show Americans that in his words Republicans are actively making it harder for people to vote. This time would be better spent working on legislation that does stand a chance of passing. I think everyone around here while you're young and the same time I will say this is eighty X essential issue. And we know where the Republican stand we know that they're gonna fight even having this debate because they don't want to have this debate. But I believe this is round one. It along boxing match and I think the American people can see from this debate. Whose on what side my view is get caught trying. We're gonna come back and I actually think that the days of filibuster. Irrespective of my colleagues whoever's. Jason the filibuster is number. At some point we are going to be able to pass east reforms. And have the kind of access. To the dollar costs were lawful Americans that we saw last year in the election and that is what house Republicans united again SS do you worry about the ramifications and getting rid of the filibuster if Democrats spend down the road don't hold the majority. Look it'd be able couple ways there's new years ago John. But elections should have consequences. And I served. In and City Council I'd served in the House of Representatives and I served in the senate. Oh I wouldn't say that the senate is more functional because this because of the filibuster. In the City Council that nicer car so I think this is a debate we need. And the American people and my constituents in New Mexico. Expect us to deliver results and the filibusters key units from delivering results. All right New Mexico senator mark directly appreciate your time today thank you. Great to be really. And New Yorkers are heading to the polls to vote in the democratic primaries today Anaconda are likely decide who will be this city's next mayor. Eight major candidates are each trying to break out of this crowded field. And he is implementing something interesting here ranked choice voting this is happening for the first time where boaters. Can actually rank their candidates in their order of preference. ABC news deputy political director Avery harper joins us now with more on this. Avery how is new voting system work. Already congressmen today you know folks are going to be able to break their choices from one to five I think in this mayoral primary instead of choosing just one alike they have in years past is that big test for ranked choice voting here in New York City and it you know how it's gonna work in terms of counting it's gonna come into play if there isn't a candidate who gets 50% or more than 50% of that vote and with so many candidates at that's highly likely and so we're going to see is New York City tabulate those votes and they are going to eliminate the last place finisher in each round and then redistribute those. Votes to other candidates in the lower choices for those voters and so. That counting continues until we have a winner until somebody has more than 50% of the vote. So today's testing this kind of ranked choice voting implemented in more elections are on the country. While New York City is the first place to implement a ranked choice voting their cities like Minneapolis San Francisco all lending California. You know states like Maine already utilize ranked choice voting and there are cities that are you know implementing it as we speak we know that in Austin Texas City. They voted for are in support of Rancho zoning some gonna see it implemented in more cities around the country and what at the national level can we see this in. Primaries fur presidency for example. Well when there hasn't been much talk of bad just yet but you mean you're more likely to see it in cities and in states. At what is pros and cons to doing. To voting this way. So advocates would point to a few things they would say that it encourages candidates to reach out slim plurality. Voters rather than sticking to who they might think is your base and they also would say that cut it encourages you can't it is a refrain from negative campaigning but if you are looking closely watching closely at the New York mayoral primary agency it's gotten kind of nasty especially in the in the last few weeks and so New York has bucked that the. That theory also it would eliminate the cost of a runoff you know. Be it in a sense the primary like this one where there's so many candidates. He we would likely have a runoff and and those elections can be costly so it's cutting costs clear opponents would say that wasn't any time that she changed the way that folks vote. That voting is habitual you might lose some folks and folks might not come out tomorrow. Could this. Bowl stir up distrust in elections right now given how precarious situation is where a lot of people are feeling disheartened by the process. Is it the right time to make a change like this. Well officials here in in in New York City the board of elections here has already said it is going to take a while. For those votes to be tabulated those ranks results tonight we're going to have. Accounts of the first host choice votes tougher in person votes today during Election Day ends I during the early voting period about nine days of early voting here in New York City. Eight but. You know there might be folks who you know fear of that exact length of time right in terms of tabulating those votes could. You know in packs or or or bolster distrust in that. A lesson but listen we're gonna see the New York City board of elections says they're doing everything they can to make sure that all of your decisions how they're tabulating those votes is transparent. Tonight ABC's deputy political director Avery harper we appreciate Avery thank you. And today the White House admitted that it will fall short of its gold for 70% of US adults to be vaccinated with at least one Dallas come. By July 4. Up next we'll have a closer look at what went wrong and drug administration is trying to do. To pick up the pace of vaccination stay with us and. Welcome back today the White House announced that the administration will fall short of its goal to have 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. The head of the White House coded response team says the country has reached that 70%. For aged thirty and up but it will take a few extra weeks. To reach that level for Americans eighteen and older. ABC's medical contributor doctor John Brownstein an ABC news reporter and clarity. Are here to help us break this down and doctor Brownstein thanks for being here. Thank you recognize them as so and a according to the DD CDC as of may 22. 80% of people 65 and older had received at least one dose. But only 38%. Of people age eighteen to 29 why is that. Well you know this is amazing data by the CDC. You know it really puts into perspective Biden's goal on this that he won it all adults. Not just people over thirty he won it people over eighteen to get at least one dose by the fourth of July and that is not happening. With the CDC survey found was there about a fourth of people that age eighteen to thirty. Who had no interest we're never gonna get the vaccine and that about another fourth tour in this week and see approach they want more information they want to see how what works for other people. Doctor Brownstein so far sixteen states and the District of Columbia have vaccinated Lee 70% of their adult population of at least one dose. You look at that guy distribution though is that most of those states you know up in the northeast. The states that are not there in other parts of the country with the lowest rates down in the south. You can look at it in and look at it politically or culturally how do you look at it when you see the geographical divide this country. Yeah I you know you're really seeing survey tale of two countries right now their search the bottom ten states are hovering around 30% vaccinated this is almost self. It's mostly right leaning. I'm an even if you look even the older adults are still about 20% still not been backed an inch and meet with large pockets of buybacks and people that is a real concern for surge says this is a lot driven by access you know that there vaccine deserts across this country and mostly concentrated this opens its like Alabama and Arkansas option but it's also because of confidence we know that there is still a big push back against this vaccine partly because they're waiting for authorization and partly because of concerns around side effects safety but then you also these charges of conspiracy theories police and pseudoscience. This this sort of mentality that you know you can't tell me what to do so there are so many issues at play here but to move that needle to get about 70% mark in those states is in the incredibly challenging. And and it current trends continue younger people won't reach the same level of coverage is older people by the end of August so. Then what does school start to reopen in and people start to go back to work. Well that's a big concern has as John mentioned delta variant now being 20% of cases in the US. This is a wildly transmissible virus now that's gaining strength in the US every child under twelve. Is unprotected people with the grameen a compromise or unprotected. So as we move into fall I don't think we're gonna see younger children have access to the vaccine until later in the year so that does become a concern of schools now keep in mind schools tended not to be home of big outbreaks. Because they require kids to Wear masks and to socially distant. But I do think you're gonna have these social gatherings sports things like that that could really be a problem later down the road. And doctor Brown's day that what are for all living in kind of chapter one. On the pandemic where wild strain if in fact it was I guess it way is the dominant concern and you we we're now looking at. That delta very it is now 20%. The cases and ends doubling every two weeks joke. How big a concern is that. Given our vaccination profile right now and what it's going to be going forwards and was described. Yeah you know are here and has struck a well there's a real concern about delta bearing right now you know its most transmissible even have this concern about delta slots you know it wreaked Havoc in India were seen keys is surge in U change. This is among you know partly partially vaccinated people so you know while the situation US is good receipts cases and hospitalizations and deaths drop option you know I worry about this sort of sense false but you know security that we have right now option that delta is scary because it is more transmissible options it is potentially more deadly we're seeing you know you'll surges of cheeses where people are getting push severe illness much more quickly than we are with your original I'll hold their ranch and so because of this concern and also. These vaccines if you're not fully protected which made you also of concern they may not offer that protection against delta the we've seen with previous starts all that the stench is that this puts more pressure people get back savior I know that ash you know we seek Jesus dropping we don't think that the vaccine is right for you but ultimately if you don't get back save Burgundy head into another problem potentially a summer fall search that will likely lead to unnecessary deaths. And actor Brownstein Indiana University students are now suing this school over its vaccine mandate I also had a viewer question. On Twitter about this asking how can a public college mandate a vaccine when it's not fully FDA approved what's your take on that. Yeah I get this question a lot. That's something that is turning into a large debate and I think essential argument she is that these vaccines are experimental a hockey force an experimental vaccine on students but the reality is these are not experimental vaccines they've been highly Haston they're safe and effective and I think each. That's what people have to realize this authorization. Would not have gone through that the FDA didn't know that these vaccines were appropriate to disseminate to the public's coach you know we know schools are Mehdi vaccines are things like flu or measles months so it's not surprising that they would push for this now of course are gonna have to make special concessions for various cult status or religious exemptions and in that Jesus didn't mean you have to it socially distance or were masked but I really have to emphasize that the underlying impact of code itself is far greater than any risk around the vaccines and we just -- happy to get hammered that point home over and over there. All right doctor John Brownstein and flirting great to have you both thank you. Thank you things are much. And finally we talk a little bit about ranked choice voting earlier in the show but it yeah complicated so New York mayor bill the blahs he had tried to help. By demonstrating how ranked choice voting would work. For choosing pizza toppings but even need your problem with this cute too easy men none under bloodiest choices here please note. His top two choices. Green peppers number one eyelid was number two. As a two blasts pizza toppings green peppers and Alan. Just. Yet I'm against ranked choice voting just. Because of that show so we wanted to play as well clear things up with our own. Ranked choice for voting for pizza toppings Mike up judges and order pepperoni sausage mushrooms green peppers. And spinach OK out I'll grant to the spinach things it is a little bit of a right in there. Wait you wrote in spinach you like spinning jumper just so much. Broad any. Did fled vegetable as web vegetable skid John pizza. Aren't. We'll minor chicken got lit the needy sausage. Peppers. Broccoli. All your Boston me and me. Early on that. Brian polian don't less is on pizza. And I don't let the record show it was not my top choice it was my pick Joyce says schools daily bread truly. Really go right no peppers and olives is number one and two here. All right well that does it for us on the break down day for joining us hi I'm Diane Macedo and now I want needs to happen. And I'm Terry Glenn I'm gonna get some we'll see you back here at 3 PM eastern tomorrow have a deal is not the rich aren't pizza.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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