Washington, D.C. — The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration voted 9-9 on the For the People Act on Tuesday evening along a party line vote. The split vote means the bill cannot immediately advance to the Senate floor — instead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have to call a vote on whether to advance the legislation. The Committee spent the day marking up the legislation and adding amendments to the version sent to them by the House in March.
Among the amendments passed were Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-Va.) proposal for a study on the effects of widespread vote by mail on military enfranchisement, Sen. Angus King’s (I-ME) amendment to require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to issue guidelines on election cybersecurity, and Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.) amendment for increased funding to ensure polling places are accessible. Republicans struck down Sen. Jon Ossoff’s (D-Ga.) proposal to prevent states from banning volunteers from distributing food and water at the polls, a tactic Republican legislatures have embraced in Florida and Georgia over the last few months to depress turnout.