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Biden to deliver voting speech in Philadelphia next week

Progressives in his party have been critical that he isn't doing enough to push for passage of a federal voting law.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will deliver remarks in Philadelphia on Tuesday about his administration’s actions “to protect the sacred constitutional right to vote,” a source familiar with the matter tells NBC News.

The White House has been under pressure from progressive and civil rights activists to make stronger use of the presidential bully pulpit as Republicans at the state and local level have been pushing new restrictive voting laws in the name of fraud prevention.

New rules imposed in some Republican-controlled states will restrict when voting can happen, imposing voter ID requirements and overhauling election administration. They have been enacted in concert with former President Donald Trump's continued efforts to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen via rampant fraud, despite there being no evidence.

Philadelphia is rich in both political and historical significance for the president, who kicked off his 2020 campaign there in what he called the “birthplace of our democracy.”

In a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, Biden said the “sacred right is under assault with an incredible intensity like I’ve never seen,” calling it “simply un-American.” He has promised multiple times since to travel the country speaking out about voting.

On Thursday, Biden met with leading civil rights groups, who have called on him to take a stronger stance in support of federal voting legislation championed by Democrats, including to support calls to abolish the filibuster for voting rights legislation.

The administration has focused their efforts on executive actions — primarily through the Justice Department — while also signaling they intend to make a major political push on this in the midterm elections.

Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off that effort Thursday, announcing the DNC’s $25 million expansion of its “I Will Vote” Campaign, focused on voter registration, education and turnout efforts.

“We are going to assemble the largest voter-protection team we have ever had to ensure that all Americans can vote and have your vote counted in a fair and transparent process,” Harris said.