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'It's sick': Biden blasts Republican efforts to restrict voting

"This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle," Biden said, responding to a question about the flood of proposals being considered in state legislatures.

President Joe Biden on Thursday blasted Republican efforts to restrict voting in numerous states, saying "it's sick."

"I'm convinced that we'll be able to stop this because it is the most pernicious thing. This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. I mean, this is gigantic, what they're trying to do. And it cannot be sustained," he told reporters at his first news conference at the White House.

During the hourlong session with reporters, Biden was asked if he was worried about the Democratic Party's midterm prospects should a push to pass federal voting rights legislation fail.

"What I'm worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It's sick," he responded, referring to the hundreds of restrictive proposals moving through GOP-controlled state legislatures across the country. "Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote? Deciding that you're going to end voting at 5:00 when working people are just getting off work? Deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances?"

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, there are at least 253 restrictive bills under consideration in 43 states this year.

The president said he's backing the sweeping voting rights legislation that's been passed by the House and is now being considered by the Senate. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promised Thursday it would get a vote in the full Senate, but its chances of passage are slim because of the 60-vote threshold in a chamber currently split 50-50.

Biden said another way he plans to combat the Republican initiatives is "educating the American public. The Republican voters I know find this despicable. Republican voters."

"I'm convinced we'll be able to stop this," he added. "I will do everything in my power, along with my friends in the House and Senate, to keep that from becoming the law."

Asked if there were other measures he could take, he said yes, but did not elaborate. "I'm not going to lay out a strategy in front of the whole world and you now," he said.