President Joe Biden pledged Friday to fight for stalled voting rights and police reform legislation, addressing graduates of South Carolina State University amid the harsh reality that months of talks with lawmakers have failed to move the measures closer to becoming law.
Biden spoke at the historically Black school a day after conceding that his nearly $2 trillion social and environmental bill was unlikely to become law this year, as he had hoped, due to continued disagreement among fellow Democrats. Republicans unanimously oppose the spending.
Biden blamed “that other team, which used to be called the Republican Party,” for refusing to even allow the bills to be debated. “But this battle’s not over,” Biden said. “We’re going to keep up the fight until we get it done.” Biden vowed to keep pressing for police reform, too.
“The fight’s not over,” he said at the alma mater of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black member of Congress and South Carolina’s only Democrat in the delegation. Clyburn, who sat on stage with Biden, accepted his degree, which he earned 60 years earlier from the president, a longtime friend.
Biden also pledged to help stamp out hate and racism. “You can defeat hate, but you can’t eliminate it,” Biden said. “It just slides back under a rock and, when given oxygen by political leaders, it comes out ugly and mean as it was before. We can’t give it any oxygen. We have to step on it.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: EAST BAY TIMES
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