Election Day should be a holiday for workers in the United States, U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday (June 24).
“If I had my way, and I think it is really important, every Election Day would be a day off,” he said because people who work certain shifts can’t make it to the polls.
Biden also told reporters he plans to travel the country to push voting rights, during remarks in the White House about a bipartisan infrastructure agreement.
Election Day, traditionally the second Tuesday in November in the United States, is not a federal holiday, although some states require employers to give workers time off to vote.
Federal holidays are created through Congressional legislation; last week Biden signed a bill to make June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans.
How and when U.S. citizens can vote has become a political battleground, as Republicans issue new bills that restrict voting hours, vote-by-mail and other measures designed to bring more people to the polls. A sweeping Democratic bill to expand voting hours and methods failed to pass Congress this week.
Biden also had sharp words for state Republicans who he said are pushing for vote recounts when they don’t like how the vote turned out. “Who in God’s name, as my mother would say, died and left them boss?,” Biden asked. “Your vote has to count when you cast it.”