State Lawmakers Call On U.S. Senate To Suspend Recess, Pass Voting Rights Legislation

Democratic state lawmakers rallied in D.C. to call on the Senate to suspend its recess to pass the For The People Act.

8/4/2021 6:13:00 AM

Democratic state lawmakers rallied in D.C. to call on the Senate to suspend its recess to pass the For The People Act.

Democratic state lawmakers rallied in Washington to call on the Senate to suspend its August recess to pass the For The People Act.

in June.These lawmakers are directly facing down the ongoing threat created by former President Donald Trump’s lies about voter fraud that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and inspired hundreds of GOP voter suppression and election subversion bills that Democrats are fighting in committees and on the floors of their statehouses.

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“This is the delta variant of Jim Crow voting laws and the only vaccination is federal legislation,” Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said at the rally.BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty ImagesU.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) speaks to people rallying for voters' rights on Capitol Hill on Aug. 3, 2021.

The U.S. Census Bureau is preparing to release its congressional redistricting data on Aug. 16. The For The People Act would require states to create independent and nonpartisan redistricting processes to draw new districts. Supporters of the bill believe that if it passes before Aug. 16, states would be prevented from unfairly manipulating voting districts ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

The state lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to use the full power of his office to push the Senate to pass the legislation and for the Senate to change its filibuster rules to allow it to pass with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes it currently takes to begin and end debate on most legislation.

“We sent Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff to give Democrats the majority to get the job done ― and not just for Georgians, not just for Democrats, but for all Americans,” said Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen, a Democrat who is running for secretary of state in Georgia in 2022. “Our democracy is in peril and we need federal protection now.”

“Now, I know some Democrats support keeping the filibuster because it moderates large swings in policy no matter who’s in charge, but in this very moment, the only thing it’s doing is impeding justice ― long-overdue justice for communities that have been targeted for systematic voter suppression,” said Georgia state Rep. Renitta Shannon, a Democrat.

Every U.S. senator and representative who attended the rally on Tuesday joined the state lawmakers in calling to change the Senate’s filibuster rules. They included Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Bob Casey (Penn.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.) and Warnock and Rep. John Sarbanes (Md.), the bill’s lead sponsor in the House.

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Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), a co-sponsor of the For The People Act, and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who opposed the bill until days before it hit the Senate floor in June, remain the only Democratic senators who openly oppose changing the Senate’s filibuster rules. Others may agree with them, but none have said so publicly. To have any chance of passing the For The People Act, its supporters must convince these two Democrats to drop their objections to changing filibuster rules.

West Virginia state delegate Mike Pushkin demonstrated at the rallyto change his mind. That is, with a heaping dose of praise. Read more: HuffPost »

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