Washington, D.C. — Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will begin the process to kick off debate over the far-ranging voting rights bill known as the Freedom to Vote Act. On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to hold a cloture vote on the motion to proceed, but Republican lawmakers vow to continue their filibuster of voting rights legislation.
This compromise measure is a package of reforms designed to (1) set national standards for voting rights and elections that would combat efforts by some states to make it harder for people of color and other historically marginalized communities to vote; (2) thwart new state laws giving power to partisan state actors to sabotage valid election results; (3) stop partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts; and (4) reduce the power of secret dark spending in our elections while raising the voices of everyday donors.
With these reforms to strengthen democracy, Congress can take meaningful action on issues that everyday Americans care about, including affordable healthcare, gun violence prevention, and racial justice.
The Freedom to Vote Act is compromise legislation co-written by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). For many weeks, Sen. Manchin has tried to secure bipartisan support for his legislative effort, arguing that it will make voting more accessible to all Americans and increase trust in elections. So far, no members of the Senate minority have supported those efforts.
In advance of the upcoming vote, Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at CAP, issued the following statement:
The Freedom to Vote Act is deeply popular with Americans of all political stripes who know the importance of protecting our elections and strengthening the right to vote. Once again, Sen. Schumer is attempting to begin debate on this legislation at a time when our democracy is under assault. Americans are repeatedly bombarded with lies about election fraud, while 17 state legislatures have passed new laws aimed at suppressing voters of color or sabotaging valid election results. If Senate Republicans again filibuster voting rights legislation, the Senate should immediately take action to ensure that arcane filibuster rules do not prevent this legislation from being debated and passed.
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