High time to bring Voting Rights and Build Back Better to the Senate floor!
On the first day of the 2022 legislative session in D.C., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer committed to bringing voting rights laws (H.R.4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act; and S.2747, the Freedom to Vote Act) for votes on the Senate floor—calling Republicans' filibuster bluff with a pledge to legislate Senate rules changes if the bills don't pass before January 17.
Leader Schumer has asked all of us to keep up the pressure on the Senate to hold the Voting Rights votes and move into filibuster reform if necessary.
The John Lewis VRAA will restore the requirement for Department of Justice "preclearance" of voting laws, for states with a history of racial discrimination. Preclearance was a victim of the Supreme Court's 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which paved the way for the slew of discriminatory state laws that now threaten the democracy.
The Freedom to Vote Act, is a compromise bill written by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Joe Manchin after the Senate killed H.R.1, the For the People Act. The Freedom to Vote Act, while not as broad as H.R.1, restores many of the voting protections under assault by right-wing state legislatures.
Leader Schumer has also declared his intention to bring Build Back Better to the floor, where Senators will be able to amend it until most of it can pass — thus clarifying the need for additional legislation.
Bringing these bills to the floor for up-or-down votes, rather than acceding to the implicit filibusters sure to be invoked by Senate Republicans, will require Senators to go on record in support or opposition to our historical democratic norms (as well as essential climate measures and the extremely popular child tax credit, among other aspects of Build Back Better), for all to see. If the voting rights bills fail the 60-vote filibuster threshold, Schumer has said he and his caucus are considering modifications to the filibuster rule, with President Biden's approval.
The groups sponsoring this letter action support voting rights unequivocally, as we believe passing voting rights legislation is essential to preserving democracy in the U.S. We also see these votes as potentially opening the door to filibuster reform, which will in turn ease passage of controversial elements of the Build Back Better reconciliation package, including the climate measures that are critical to reducing emissions and taking fossil fuels out of the economy's driver's seat.
Click on Start Writing to send letters to your Senators and Leader Schumer, expressing your support for early floor votes on voting rights, and Build Back Better.
350 Bay Area Action
350 Conejo/San Fernando Valley
350 Silicon Valley
350 Ventura County Climate Hub
Climate Reality Project, Silicon Valley Chapter
Cool Planet Group of First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto
Conejo Climate Coalition
Dayenu Circle of Jewish Silicon Valley
Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action