The Texas state legislators who left the state to stop Republicans from passing a racially targeted voter suppression bill went to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress to pass voting rights legislation. Now they have company: More than 100 state legislators are joining the Texas Democrats on Capitol Hill to lobby for the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Legislators are coming from more than 20 states, including other Republican-controlled ones where voter suppression laws are a significant threat. In particular, they’re targeting Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, whose support for voting rights legislation—and reforming the filibuster to allow it to pass, since there are not 10 Republicans who will back voting rights—is crucial.
“I really want to make sure they understand what we’re going through in Florida. If we don’t get this Congress to act, and the Biden administration to put pressure on voting rights, then I’m very worried about the ability of everyday Floridians to have their voices heard in the election process,” Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani told The Washington Post, calling for “a federal firewall from these state voter suppression activities.”
”Early flight to DC because #RecessCanWait but our democracy can’t,” Minnesota state Rep. Emma Greenman tweeted. “With the wave of voter suppression & election subversion efforts sweeping the states, I’m joining fellow legislators from across the US in DC to demand Congress pass #ForThePeopleAct & #restoretheVRA now.”
”We made, I think, a really valiant effort to try to stop these really awful bills at the legislative level here in Arizona and in Texas and in Georgia,” Arizona state Rep. Daniel Hernandez told CNN. “Now that we weren’t able to stop these bills at the legislative level in our different states, lawmakers across the country are flying to DC because there is nothing more important than protecting people’s right to vote.”
So far, Manchin and Sinema aren’t taking action. They support voting rights, they claim. Just not enough to find a way around Republican obstruction—obstruction intended to maintain the Republican structural advantages that Republican-controlled state legislatures are busily writing into law. The Brennan Center for Justice has tracked 30 laws in 18 states enacted this year to make it more difficult to vote, many of them targeting voting by mail in particular.
Democracy demands better. And no, Congress should not go on recess until important business is dealt with.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.