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Vice President Kamala Harris has been tapped to lead the push for federal voting rights legislation.

Pressure builds to nix filibuster, pass federal voting rights bills

Vice President Kamala Harris has been assigned a Herculean task: Protect the right to vote from an onslaught of GOP-backed restrictions.

States have already enacted a record number of voting restrictions this year, and more are sure to come. Dozens of such measures, largely pushed by Republicans, continue to advance in statehouses across the country.

Voting rights advocates say the way to protect states from these new voting barriers is to pass significant legislation at the federal level, such as the For the People Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. But as long the filibuster rule remains intact, these bills are essentially dead on arrival in the Senate.

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Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, one of the moderate Republicans targeted by WorkMoney, meets with President Biden to discuss the infrastructure bill.

Dark money group urges moderates to back Biden’s infrastructure plan

So-called dark money organizations typically play to the extremes in politics, but one group is trying to build support in the center for its legislative priorities.

WorkMoney, a liberal political advocacy nonprofit, is trying to boost President Biden's multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and jobs agenda. It is spending $2 million on Facebook and Google ads to corral moderate Democrats and Republicans in the evenly divided Senate.

The group is one example of a dark money organization — a politically active nonprofit that is not required to disclose its donors and takes advantage of that leniency. Corporations, individuals and unions may make unlimited donations to such groups, increasing their influence over elections without any accompanying transparency.

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Five key stories about democracy

It's been a busy week for democracy reformers, with the For the People Act appearing to die in the Senate, Republicans threatening to break ranks, and Rep. Liz Cheney losing her leadership post despite her conservative credentials.

But there was so much more. Here's a sampling of stories you may have missed.

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President Biden and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One for a flight to Georgia on Thursday.

Biden uses Georgia trip to keep pressing Congress on democracy reform bills

President Biden is spending Thursday in Georgia, the symbolic center of the voting rights debate, hours after making an impassioned call for reforming and sustaining democracy the finale for his first address to Congress.

The main reason for the trip is to pitch his ambitious $4 trillion plans to refashion the economy, rebuild its physical underpinnings and expand the government's social services system. But he's also visiting Jimmy Carter, who won the presidency on a promise to revive democratic norms after Watergate, and holding a rally in a place that's long been central to the voting rights fight.

"We have to prove democracy still works," Biden said at the wrapped up his nationally televised speech Wednesday night. He urged quick passage of the sweeping remake of federal election, campaign finance and government ethics rules known as HR 1 along with separate legislation to revive federal oversight in places with histories of voter suppression.

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