Stacey Abrams to Miss Biden’s Speech in Georgia

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
January 11, 2022Updated: January 11, 2022

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will not attend President Joe Biden’s speech in Georgia on Tuesday.

Abrams’ aides confirmed to news outlets she will skip the event, which will take place in Atlanta.

Aides cited a scheduling conflict.

Abrams’ campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Abrams wrote on Twitter thanking the president for traveling to Georgia and “refusing to relent until the work is finished.”

Abrams was missing from a list sent by the White House detailing people who would be traveling or meeting with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the trip to Atlanta.

Abrams is the top Democrat candidate for Georgia’s governor. She lost the 2018 election to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican who is running for another term.

Abrams has repeatedly claimed she won the election, which was certified for Kemp.

Biden told reporters on Tuesday before the speech, “I spoke with Stacey this morning, we have a great relationship, we got our scheduling mixed up.”

“We’re all on the same page and everything’s fine,” he added.

Biden plans to speak in support of legislation that would federalize elections. Democrats have been unable so far to garner enough support to pass the bills in Congress. Democrats say the bills would expand voting rights while Republicans argue they would dramatically alter the way elections are run and make it easier for fraudulent votes to be cast.

Biden will “speak about what the path forward looks like to advocate for this moving forward in the Senate,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Epoch Times Photo
President Joe Biden walks across the South Lawn after returning to the White House in Washington on Jan. 10, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Biden will say, according to an excerpt released by the White House, that when the bills come up for a vote in the coming days, it will “mark a turning point in this nation.”

“Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is where will the institution of United States Senate stand?” Biden plans to say.

The bills are the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

Both pieces of legislation need 60 votes to pass in the Senate, which is currently divided 50–50 between Democrats and Republicans.

No Republicans have expressed support for them and several Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have voiced concerns.

Democrat leaders want to abolish or alter the filibuster, which would lower the voting threshold for most bills from 60 votes to a simple majority. Democrats can break ties through Harris, who is president of the upper chamber.

Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) was set to travel with Biden to Atlanta and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) planned to fly with Harris to the city.

Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) was scheduled to meet with Biden later in the day, along with a number of members of the House and activists like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Other activists planned to skip the speech over frustration with the lack of progress on the bills, including members of the Asian American Advocacy Fund and Black Voters Matter.

“Now is not the time for another speech, we don’t need him to come to Georgia and use us as a prop. What we need is work,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said on CNN’s “New Day.”