Hoyer Statement On Senate Republicans' Vote to Block Consideration of the Freedom to Vote Act

Washington, DC -- House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) For Immediate Release: October 20, 2021

Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Senate Republicans voted to block Floor consideration of the Freedom to Vote Act:

“Senate Republicans’ filibuster against the Freedom to Vote Act today is a shameful rejection of Americans’ fundamental right to vote as well as further evidence of the threat the filibuster poses to our democracy.  This compromise bill would establish stronger federal protections for ballot access and restore much of the power of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court weakened in 2013.  It has support from the broad majority of Americans as well as a majority of the Senate, including every Democratic senator.  Because of the filibuster, however, an arcane rule that has historically been weaponized against civil rights, voting rights, and equality legislation, the very foundation of our democracy is at risk.
“What a distance we have traveled since the Help America Vote Act was signed into law nineteen years ago this month, when Democrats and Republicans came together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan way to affirm the right of every eligible voter to access the ballot box.  That legislation, which I was proud to author, was cosponsored by Democrats and Republicans alike in both the House and Senate.  Republicans recognized then, as they no longer seem to do now, that the right to vote and the sanctity of our elections transcend the politics of the day and must always be protected. 
“Defending the integrity of our democracy and our elections should not be a partisan issue, yet Senate Republicans are refusing to allow this bill to be debated, just as they are blocking nearly every other piece of legislation supported by a majority of the American people.  It is essential that the Senate act on voting rights, as the House already has done, and I strongly support the elimination of the filibuster in order to achieve that and so many other things long overdue.”

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