Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President
In the United States, we are stronger when every American votes, when every American has a say in the future of this country. President Biden made very clear today that he knows we are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and that a Republican minority in the U.S. Senate must not be allowed to turn back the clock and allow a new generation of Jim Crow laws to take root. He clearly stated that the Senate rules must not tolerated when they strip Americans – particularly Black and Brown Americans – of their fundamental right to vote. Those rules must be changed if they are abused. Simple majorities in state legislatures are deciding who can vote and who cannot while the filibuster has allowed a minority in the Senate to prevent Congress from acting to prevent voter suppression and protect the voting rights of every American.
The fight over voting rights has clearly shown that the Senate is broken, and President Biden is right that it is time to fix it. As recently as 2006 every single Senator voted to amend and extend the Voting Rights Act – including 16 who are still in the Senate today – but for the last year, all Senate Republicans, with one exception, have continually voted against voting rights at every turn. If Republicans in the Senate continue to put their party before their nation, then the Senate must act with a majority to protect the fundamental freedom to vote.
As the President and Vice President emphasized today, history is watching, and it is time for the Senate to act to “keep the promise of democracy alive.”