Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Today’s Judiciary Committee Hearing Into The Despicable Surge In Republican Voter Suppression Legislation Following The 2020 Election

April 20, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding today’s Judiciary Committee hearing into the rise in attacks on voting rights by Republicans in state legislatures across the country. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks which can also be viewed here:

Today in the Judiciary Committee, Senators will hear testimony from a number of public officials and experts about the surge in voter suppression laws since the 2020 election, including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

These voter suppression laws, more than 250 proposed laws in more than 40 states, constitute a grave and immediate threat to the very core of our democracy. In ways both large and small, they seek to restrict the franchise, often targeting minority communities, younger voters, and dense urban districts.

Our Republican colleagues have tried, in vain, to defend these laws as meaningful and appropriate protections against voter fraud. In many cases, those attempts are laughable.

Just to take one example from earlier this week: the Republican-led Montana state legislature passed a law that ends Election-day voter registration and would no longer allow student ID’s to be used as a sole valid form of identification.

Just think about that for a moment.

What problems are the Republicans in Montana trying to solve there? Has there been a rash of 40-year olds showing up with student IDs to commit voter fraud? No—there certainly has not been.

We all know what’s going on here. Younger voters have been shown to be more Democratic, so Montana Republicans have made it harder for them to vote.

It’s despicable, just despicable. And these laws are moving through state legislatures all across the country, including the most recent one in Georgia, which, among other so-called crucial reforms, makes it a crime—a crime—to provide food and water to voters waiting in line at the polls, even though in minority areas the lines are often much longer because there are fewer polling places.

I know my Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are going to shine a spotlight on all of these efforts, and I applaud Chairman Durbin for holding this very important hearing today.

Voting rights are a topic that deserves continued national attention. It is a top priority for this Democratic Senate majority.