Congress Must Defend Voting Rights by Passing Two Crucial Bills

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act are both needed to protect our democracy

Contact: Stephen Peters, [email protected], 202.466.1887

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 87 national, state, and local organizations, urged Congress to swiftly pass two critical pieces of legislation needed to protect the freedom to vote — the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) and the For the People Act (FTPA). The organizations argue that passing one without the other “simply will not be sufficient to ensure that all Americans — and particularly Americans of color — have meaningful and equal access to the ballot.”

“The VRAA and the FTPA each fill a distinct and critical role in combating voter suppression and protecting our democracy. Every American deserves and should be able to rely on having a baseline level of voting access, free from efforts to block their path to the voting booth or dilute or nullify their votes. Only passage of both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For The People Act can make this aspiration a reality. We urge you to move swiftly on both of these critical and historic bills. We also urge you to support their passage by whatever means necessary,” wrote the organizations.

“We fully support the ideal of bipartisan cooperation on voting rights and share the desire to see this issue elevated above the bitter partisanship that has come to define so much of our modern politics. At the same time, we cannot allow the partisan political agenda of some in the Senate to block the passage of a bill that has broad bipartisan support in the country,” they continued.

“Our country is at an inflection point. Many of us believe that the right of every American citizen to enjoy equal and unfettered access to the ballot is sacred. Others are fighting to restrict the right to vote because they are willing to sacrifice democracy in favor of their partisan interests. We understand and support the role of the Senate as a place of deliberation and debate. But at some point, debate has to end, and votes need to be taken. Particularly on an issue that is so fundamental to our democracy. Any rule or procedure that functions to stop bills from ever being considered on the floor is not a procedure to promote debate, it is a procedure to promote gridlock. And with state legislatures across the country passing more and more draconian bills to undermine the right to vote, our democracy cannot afford gridlock. Put simply, if the choice is between protecting the voting rights of every eligible American citizen or upholding the right of a minority of senators to block a floor vote on a popular pro-democracy bill, we strongly urge you to stand in support of the American people and the fundamental right to vote,” the organizations wrote in closing.

The full letter and list of organizations can be found here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit