Senate Must Listen to President Biden and Protect Our Democracy

Contact: Kiren Marshall, [email protected]

WASHINGTON Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Biden and Vice President Harris visited Georgia to push for federal voting rights legislation:

“We applaud President Biden and Vice President Harris for their clarion call to action delivered in the home of one of the most stringent anti-voter laws in the nation. Now the Senate must meet this moment and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. The freedom to vote must be above partisan politics and not be obstructed by procedure. Evidence of pervasive and pernicious racial discrimination in voting is clear. Yet too many Senate Republicans are hiding behind the filibuster and refuse to even acknowledge the need for debate on voting rights — nevermind that 16 current Republican senators voted for the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

“Some Senate Democrats, including Senators Manchin and Sinema, have been skeptical about changing the rules on the filibuster. But arcane Senate rules must not stand in the way of our democracy. The circumstances of this moment demand action now. We cannot afford to go back to a world reminiscent of Jim Crow — a world of exclusion, control, and violent inequality. For our democracy to work for all of us, it must include us all. Senators from both sides of the aisle must be on the right side of history, allow debate, and pass these crucial bills. However, if Senate Republicans refuse to join in that effort, Democrats must be willing to go it alone.”

In 2021, The Leadership Conference commissioned reports on the state of voting rights in 13 states across the country. They document ongoing and recent patterns of racial discrimination at the ballot box against Black, Brown, Asian, and Native voters. You can read those reports here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 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