Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the fight to protect voting rights. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
The fight to protect voting rights and restore the United States Senate is moving forward.
Yesterday, I continued to have detailed discussions with many of my colleagues about how we’re going to reach our goal of passing voting rights to ensure it takes effect before Americans return to the polls in the next election, so it can affect those 2022 elections which Republican legislators are so jaundicing.
Last night a number of my colleagues and I met with Marty Paone, a Senate rules expert who worked under past leadership, including Robert C. Byrd, about how we can restore the Senate so it can work the way our founders intended, the way it has functioned for generations before the Republican gridlock of the past decade or so.
Just now I came from a meeting where both Marty Paone and Marty Gold—one a Democrat, one a Republican counsel—discussing how we can move forward on these issues, making the Senate work and getting voting rights done. Later today, Marty [Paone] will join with Senate Democrats at our Caucus meeting to continue this very important conversation.
We’ve tried all year long to get Republicans to join us on a bipartisan effort to protect our democracy, but they have resisted and they have blocked the Senate from having so much as a debate on this issue. A debate! Not even a debate. Four votes; on three of them, every Republican voted not even to go forward and debate. On the fourth vote, only one. Of course, under the rules of the Senate, as they're presently constituted, you need ten.
Voting rights should not be a partisan issue. Both parties are better off if our democracy is strong and safeguarded against the Republican assaults playing out at the state level. The voting restrictions we are seeing passed in Republican-dominated state legislatures are the most egregious assaults on voting rights since the days of Jim Crow, and they are being passed entirely on a party-line basis. Zero bipartisanship from these state legislator Republicans.
And here in the Senate, we are going to keep at it, because just because Republicans will not join us does not mean Democrats will stop fighting on this issue. It is too important. The fight continues.