Sarbanes on Republican Inaction to Safeguard Voting Rights

November 3, 2021
CONTACT: Natalie Young | |
(202) 225-4016  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democracy Reform Task Force Chair John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today issued the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4263), historic legislation that works hand in hand with the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747) to ensure all Americans have a voice and a vote on the most important issues facing our country:

“The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would put in place a new framework for voting protections and voting empowerment that pushes back against the Supreme Court’s anti-democracy decisions in Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. DNC. It honors the late Congressman John Lewis and generations of civil rights heroes by delivering democracy to the American people and ensuring every voter has the same access to the ballot box, no matter where they live.

“It is a dark day for our country when we cannot all embrace the fundamental building blocks of a working democracy. In this pivotal moment, Senate Republicans’ refusal to even debate this critical issue is a shameless abdication of their responsibility to the American public.

“The Senate must restore itself as a place of debate, deliberation and compromise rather than a bastion of obstructionism. By whatever means necessary, Senate Democrats must now find a path forward to secure passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“Failure is not an option.”