U.S. Senate Fails to Pass Pro-Voter Bill

‘Americans deserve better than to come in second place behind Big Money’

‘We thank both of Delaware’s Senators for standing up for voters’

Tonight, the U.S. Senate again allowed its Republican members to block legislation protecting Americans’ freedom to vote. Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons voted to advance the bill past the partisan roadblock – but the effort failed in the closely-divided chamber.

Statement of Common Cause Delaware Executive Director Claire Snyder-Hall

Voters should be able to have our voices heard at the ballot box, regardless of our race, status or what state we live in. But over the past year, 19 state legislatures have passed laws creating barriers to voting – mostly targeted at Black, brown and low-income voters – and there are more than 150 more bills pending that could be passed by the end of the year.

Tonight, the US Senate had a chance to fix all that, by setting national standards that would ensure every voter can exercise our freedom to vote, and to repair and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. And tonight, the Senate failed.

This is the fifth time in recent months that Senate Republicans have blocked legislation to protect voters across the country, using a Senate rule that is a ‘Jim Crow relic.’

Tonight the Senate voted on whether that rule should be allowed to stand in the way of protecting America’s voters – all America’s voters. And unfortunately, as a body, the Senate failed this basic test.

But Delaware’s two Senators showed that they value voters most. They voted the right way.

Senator Carper said, two months ago, that ‘No barrier — not even the filibuster — must stop our obligation to our democracy.’ And tonight, he lived up to that commitment.

Senator Coons said today that he would embrace a rules change ‘as narrow and temporary as possible’ because ‘we must take action to protect the right to vote in this country.’ 

Tonight’s failure by the U.S. Senate leaves at least 55 million Americans facing new barriers to their freedom to vote – a number that will almost certainly go up as state legislatures listen to Big Money special interests and pass new anti-voter bills in the coming months.

The Senate needs to fix this. American voters should be more important than a parliamentary rule.

We thank both of Delaware’s Senators for standing up for voters. 

For the 52 Senators who valued an arcane procedural rule over the freedom to vote tonight – we challenge them to find a way to fix the problem of special-interest-funded anti-voter laws. 

Americans deserve better than to come in second place behind Big Money.