Senate Republicans Block Legislation Strengthening the People’s Voice in Our Democracy

(Washington, DC) — By objecting to even begin debate on the For the People Act, Senate Republicans demonstrated they have doubled down on obstruction as their strategy to block the most comprehensive pro-voter, pro-democracy bill in a generation. “By continuing to delay a floor debate on the bill, they show more respect for an obstructionist strategy than they do for voters, elections, or the election administrators, poll workers, and volunteers who faithfully stand watch over our democracy in each election, ensuring fairness and accuracy in the ballot counts,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President. It is significant that, for the second time in less than two months, 50 senators (Democrats and two Independents who caucus with them) were willing to begin debate on a transformational anti-corruption and freedom to vote package.

“To the millions of Americans around the country who prove we can modernize our elections by winning the solutions locally that Congress has included in the For the People Act, and to everyone who has made a call, written a letter, worked a phone bank, or attended a rally — this fight is not over. Majority Leader Schumer indicated that voting rights will be the first order of business when the Senate returns from recess in September. If Americans stay engaged, contact their Senators, keep the pressure on, and keep organizing on this as they have on important issues in the past, I’m confident we, the people will prevail,” said Hobert Flynn.

The For the People Act is a comprehensive approach to modernizing our elections and democracy that reduces the influence of money, strengthens voting rights, ends gerrymandering, and raises the bar on ethics, moving closer to the time when our democracy truly works for all of us.

“Everyone, regardless of political party, how much money is in your pocket, your unique life experience, or the zip code you live in, should have an equal voice in the future with their vote and equal access to the ballot,” said Hobert Flynn. “For the last 50 years, most voters believed that while we still had disparities that needed to be addressed, at least we agreed that the goal is an equal vote for everyone.”

Common Cause put Senators on notice that we will score votes on the bill in the next Democracy Scorecard, compiled on each Congress to inform our 1.5 million members and the public about which elected officials are true champions of democracy.

The letter to each Senate office read, “The For the People Act is popular with Republican, independent, and Democratic voters. In fact, many components of the bill have already passed in red, blue, and purple states, often with strong bipartisan support, and recent polling shows that it is popular with conservative voters. Because this bill is popular, corporate special interests and dark money voter suppression groups lie, deceive, and distort to try to erode its support. Opponents of the bill admitted in a recorded secret call that the bill is popular, even among conservatives, and instead want to rely on ‘under-the-dome-type-strategies’ to defeat it.”

 

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.