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.
Wearing a black gown as he delivered the December commencement address, the president bemoaned GOP opposition keeping voting rights bills from advancing in the 50-50 Senate following passage by the Democratic-controlled House. He 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."