On Tuesday — the same day that President Joe Biden delivered a fittingly impassioned speech against voter suppression moves and election lies that have been perpetrated by the GOP — Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) issued a succinct call to action on Twitter, urging prompt work to federally protect voting rights. Democratic leaders have put forward two monumental pieces of voting rights legislation, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, each of which would shore up democracy in their own way.
As Warnock put it:
‘We have to pass voting rights no matter what.’
We have to pass voting rights no matter what.
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) July 13, 2021
As for the “no matter what” part of the equation — at present, filibuster rules in the Senate stand in the way of progress on voting rights. The 100-member chamber’s filibuster provisions demand the agreement of 60 Senators before proceeding, including to a final vote, on most bills — and Republicans have already launched a successful filibuster against the For the People Act, preventing the Senate via their opposition from moving to debate and the potential passage of the bill. Democrats can, by all appearances, bring up the For the People Act for consideration again, however. The Senate is slated to consider the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act later this year. If enacted, that latter bill would reimpose a requirement for pre-approval by federal authorities of certain changes to the conducting of elections. The hope would be to stop voter suppression before it starts.
On Tuesday, Biden adeptly laid out the serious threats posed by new restrictions on voting that Republicans have sought to put into place. As the president put it, the “denial of full, and free, and fair elections is the most un-American thing that any of us can imagine. The most un-democratic, the most un-patriotic — and it’s sadly not unprecedented.” Check out his full remarks below: