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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks after ceremonially swearing in Kristen Clarke as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C, May 25, 2021. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

President Biden on Tuesday tasked President Kamala Harris with leading the administration’s efforts to pass two sweeping voter rights bills in Congress.

During a speech in Tulsa, Okla. on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Biden claimed that the “sacred right” to vote is “under assault with incredible intensity like I’ve never seen” and said he would ask Harris to lead efforts to pass H.R. 1, also called the “For the People Act,” and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“It’s simply un-American,” Biden said of the so-called “assault” on voter rights.

He claimed that 2020 saw a “tireless assault on the right to vote” in the form of restrictive laws, lawsuits, threats of intimidation and voter purges. He urged voting rights groups to begin “redoubling their efforts now to register and educate voters.”

“June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill,” Biden added.

He said that while pundits on TV may ask why he has not done more to pass H.R. 1 or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, that it is because he “only has a majority of effectively four votes in the house and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends,” likely referring to Senators Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.).

He noted that the U.S. House passed the For the People Act earlier this year and that the Senate will take it up later this month. It passed in March by ten votes: Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson joined every Republican in voting against it.

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