“Today, we call on Congress to get done what history will judge,” Biden said. “Pass the freedom to vote act.”

Pounding his hand for emphasis, President Joe Biden challenged senators to “stand against voter suppression” by changing Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation that Republicans are blocking from debate and votes, reports the AP.

Biden told a crowd in Atlanta gathered on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University that he’d been having quiet conversations with senators for months over the two bills — a lack of progress that has brought him criticism from activists in his own party.

“I’m tired of being quiet!” he shouted to cheers from the crowd.

In his remarks, Biden invoked the civil rights battles of the 1960s. He likened the wrongs of the past to modern-day efforts to subvert elections through the Capitol riot a year ago and a series of GOP-backed laws passed after former President Donald Trump lost in 2020 and then falsely claimed widespread voter fraud. Biden chastised Republicans for falling in line behind Trump’s election lies.

“Today, we call on Congress to get done what history will judge,” Biden said. “Pass the freedom to vote act.”

Biden’s speech was forceful, blunt and explicit, referring to new efforts to limit voting access as “Jim Crow 2.0.” For the first time, he directly advocated eliminating the Senate’s vote-blocking device called the filibuster in order to debate and vote on election and voting rights legislation. Though his focus brings more national attention to the debate ahead, it’s not clear what impact his newfound fire will have.

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