LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, issued this statement following Senate Republicans’ rejection of H.R.1/S1 “For The People” Act:
“Today’s vote, which was simply a vote on whether to even open debate on HR1/S1, demonstrates why the filibuster needs to be eliminated or — at a minimum — modified. Despite all their rhetoric about protecting our democracy, Republicans have used this vote to block a simple debate on this legislation, which has the support of nearly 70 percent of Americans. And while Senators Manchin and Sinema have been defending the filibuster under guise of bipartisanship, this vote proves that, no matter what the issue, Republicans will continue to stand against the will of American voters.
“Their actions today prove that they’re hell-bent on dismantling our democracy. Our representatives have an obligation to — at the very least — explore what voters say that they want, because their job is to represent the American people.
“The Senate filibuster is part of the Big Lie in this country that democracy is afforded equally to all Americans. Even as the majority of voters support legislation like HR1/S1, cowards in Washington are hiding behind the filibuster to stall major voting rights legislation and, ultimately, kill Black voting power. The truth is that racism is embedded in the fabric of our nation and coded in phrases like ‘bipartisanship.’ And as long as the filibuster remains intact, senators will continue to weaponize it against Black voters.
“After this vote, we demand that Senators Manchin, Sinema, and the rest of Senate Democrats suspend the filibuster rules and move forward with debate. As we head to West Virginia on our Freedom Ride for Voting Rights, we are joining with our West Virginia partners to affirm that our freedom is not negotiable and that we will not compromise on voting rights. Unlike Republicans, we believe in democracy.”
Black Voters Matter’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights continues through Saturday, June 26 with stops in Raleigh, NC; Charleston, WV; Richmond, VA; and Washington DC. For more information, visit https://blackvotersmatterfund.org/freedom-ride/.