Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy—a coalition of more than 240 organizations representing tens of millions of Americans nationwide—in response to today’s unsuccessful vote to change Senate rules:
“Senate Republicans and two misguided Senate Democrats’ rejection of critical changes to Senate rules that would allow for passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which would ensure the freedom to vote for all Americans, represents a total lack of respect for this country’s democratic legacy.
“Protecting the right of every American to participate in safe, accessible, and transparent elections is more important to the continuity of our democracy than strict adherence to Jim Crow-era Senate rules that give outsized power to a minority to obstruct legislation that the majority of Americans support.
“Throughout our nation’s history, major steps toward progress have often been met with resistance. The choice in front of every senator was a simple one: Do you support the freedom to vote? With today’s votes, we now know where each senator stands.
“Senate Republicans, led by Senator McConnell, have blocked this bill at every step, doing the bidding of their wealthy corporate donors instead of voters. By opposing this bill, they have made clear their support for the anti-voter bills, partisan gerrymandering, and election sabotage efforts happening across the country.
“And we are deeply disappointed in Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema who both support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, however, are badly mistaken on the history of Senate rules reform and misguided in thinking their Republican colleagues will ever act in support of what Americans need to protect free and fair elections.
“We continue to hope these Senators will re-evaluate their priorities and live up to their oath to uphold the Constitution, our democracy, and govern with our best interests in mind.
“Today is a setback, but not a defeat. We must redouble our efforts to pass national standards that protect every American’s right to vote, protect against election sabotage, stop partisan gerrymandering, and limit the influence of dark money in politics so that billionaires can’t buy our elections. Too much is at stake.
“Our coalition will keep fighting with the same energy and spirit because no matter where we live or what we look like, we all deserve to have the freedom to vote and make our voices heard on the decisions that shape our lives.”