President Biden will travel to Selma, Ala., this weekend to mark the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday amid the Civil Rights movement, the White House announced Tuesday.
The White House provided no additional details about Biden’s activities while in Selma. The presdent will be there to mark 58 years since the Bloody Sunday, a violent clash between 600 civil rights marchers and white police officers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 that served as a catalyst for the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Vice President Harris traveled to Selma last year for the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. In 2021, Biden spoke at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast and issued an executive order aimed at strengthening voting rights.
Biden has repeatedly spoken about the need to protect the right to vote since he took office, calling on Congress to pass legislation that would counteract measures passed by Republican-led state legislatures that critics say make it more difficult for certain groups to vote.
The president in January 2022 backed changing Senate rules so that the passage of voting rights legislation would not require 60 votes to overcome the legislative filibuster.
But some voting rights groups have argued Biden has not used his megaphone as president aggressively enough to pressure lawmakers to back voting rights legislation or filibuster reforms that would enable those bills to pass.
The president’s trip to Selma also comes as some Republicans have chastised Biden for not visiting East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a train derailment earlier this month that spilled toxic chemicals. The White House has said Biden currently has no plans to visit the area, and officials have noted that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have been on the ground since hours after the derailment happened.