All 50 Republican senators refused even to debate the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747) shaped by Sen. Joe Machin (D-WV) and a group of moderate Democrats to address shared concerns. A scaled-back version of the For the People Act (S. 1) blocked by Republicans earlier this year, the Freedom to Vote Act would make Election Day a national holiday and set federal standards for early and mail-in voting, among other things. Both bills were felled by the Senate rule known as the filibuster which requires a 60-vote supermajority to bring most bills to the floor, where they can be passed by a simple majority of 51.
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans again have failed to protect our democracy by standing in the way of advancing the Freedom to Vote Act, said NEA President Becky Pringle. “As a middle school teacher of more than 30 years, I am struggling with how to explain their indefensible action to our students, who are watching as they try to restrict access to our democracy and stack the deck against them. We will not be silent. And we should not allow Senate procedure to stop critical legislation like this from passing.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) as early as this week despite the threat of another filibuster, saying, “Republican obstruction is not a cause for throwing in the towel.” H.R. 4 would reverse dangerous, undemocratic trends flowing from Supreme Court rulings: Shelby v. Holder, decided in 2013, which invalidated the crucial “preclearance” provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, decided just a few months ago, which further weakened the law.
Email your senators and tell them to protect our democracy by protecting our right to vote.