Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President
Americans overwhelmingly support the Freedom to Vote Act. Senators must chart a path forward to President Biden’s desk in the wake of today’s filibuster. Today’s vote is the third time in recent months that all 50 Senate Democrats have voted to advance major voting rights legislation only to be met with Republican opposition. The Senate loophole long used to stymie civil rights legislation must not be abused again to defend the new Jim Crow laws being passed across the country to make it harder to vote today – particularly in Black and Brown communities.
Every American deserves the freedom to vote, yet more and more states are passing laws to make it harder to participate in our democracy. The Freedom to Vote Act will strengthen our ability to cast a ballot so that we all have an equal say in the future for our family and community, regardless of our political party, background, or zip code. The legislation leads to fair maps for Congressional districts and bans gerrymandering that allows politicians to choose their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians. It also makes important steps to curtail secret money in elections and to encourage small-dollar donors to reduce the influence of big money.
Even with a modified compromise bill, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have shown they are unwilling to negotiate in good faith to find shared solutions to protect the freedom to vote and curb the undue influence of money in the political process. We appreciate Sen. Manchin’s continued outreach to his colleagues across the aisle, but it has become abundantly clear that no amount of negotiating will get 10 Senate Republicans to support a comprehensive voting rights package by the time we need this to pass. No Senate rule should stand in the way of the freedom to vote, and senators must act with urgency to pass this bill.