Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding voting rights legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Before the Senate concluded the previous work period, Republicans blocked multiple efforts to even debate voting rights legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Let me be clear: Republicans refusing to support anything on voting rights is not an excuse for Democrats to do nothing.
Over the recess, a number of my colleagues and I--including Senators Klobuchar, Merkley, Warnock, Manchin, Padilla, Kaine, King, and Tester—worked diligently to craft a revised voting rights piece of legislation. This compromise proposal would protect the freedom to vote, end partisan gerrymandering, stop the scourge of dark money in our politics, among many other good things.
And I applaud my colleagues for their hard work and their progress to come together with a very strong voting rights bill that all Democrats can support, while respecting the role of states and promoting greater confidence in our democracy.
Now, Senator Manchin has been having discussions with our Republican colleagues to try and garner support for this important legislation.
This is a good proposal and I encourage all my Senate colleagues to support it.
That said, we must be honest about the facts: the Republican-led war on democracy has only worsened in the last few weeks. Most notably, the Governor of Texas recently signed into law a vile new voter suppression bill that ranks as one of the most draconian and undemocratic in living memory. Meanwhile, partisans across the country are sharpening their knives for the coming spate of vicious gerrymandering, which further threatens to divide our politics.
This is unacceptable.
So the Senate must act. I intend to hold a vote in the Senate as early as next week on voting rights legislation. Time is of the essence.