This weekend, as voting rights continue to come under attack in communities across America, the U.S. Senate has suspended its usual recess to consider an infrastructure spending bill. In the meantime, Republican lawmakers in nearly all 50 states are considering legislation to limit absentee voting, remove ballot drop boxes, shorten voting hours, and impose other cruel voter restrictions.
Black Voters Matter Fund co-founders Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown said: “The nationwide assault on voting rights is now a five-alarm fire. Yet while voting rights activists and community members — particularly in Black and Brown communities that are disproportionately impacted by voter suppression — fight the biggest battle for voting rights since the Jim Crow era, the U.S. Senate has continued to stall on passing critical voter protections like H.R. 1/S1 and H.R. 4. Now, as the Senate breaks precedent and suspends its weekend recess to consider infrastructure spending, it must show the same urgency for voting rights. The founding principle of our democracy cannot wait for the Senate to return from an August vacation. Recess can wait.
“Meanwhile, Texas legislators are now entering their fourth week away from their homes, families and jobs as they continue their fight for federal legislation. Such protections are critical to help prevent draconian state legislation such as Texas Senate Bill 7 which would limit absentee voting, remove ballot drop boxes, shorten voting hours, and impose other cruel voter restrictions. If these Texas legislators can sacrifice a month of their lives in pursuit of voting rights, the very least the U.S. Senate could do is delay their recess for the same cause.
“And while President Biden has committed to using the power of his administration to combat voter suppression, he must use the full power of his office and over 4 decades of experience in the U.S. Senate to help clear the path for federal voting rights protections through the legislature. The Senate must use any means necessary to pass voting rights legislation — even if it means removing the Senate filibuster and suspending its August recess.”
Texas Representative Ron Reynolds said: “We are dealing with the fierce urgency of now and need Congress to pass voting rights legislation. before it’s too late.”
Texas Representative Gina Hinojosa said: “By leaving our homes and our families we have bought Congress time to act to protect voting rights, but we can only hold the line for so long.”