WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement regarding the failed voting rights legislation in the Senate:
“In 2006, the Voting Rights Act passed 390 to 33 in the House of Representatives and 98 to 0 in the Senate with votes from 16 current sitting Republicans in this United States Senate. Sixteen of them voted to extend it. Contrastingly, State legislators in 49 states have introduced more than 400 bills designed to suppress our right to vote. Legislation that will discourage voters, including racial minorities, low-income voters, and young people, from casting a ballot.
“These same types of voter suppression laws have led to the rejection of more than half of mail-in ballots requested in the third most populous county in Texas — for primary elections in March. Laws banning drive-through and 24-hour voting and allowing more access to partisan poll watchers. That, combined with aggressive attempts to gerrymander congressional districts, leads us to this point: Black communities across the nation stand to lose the most if voting rights legislation is not passed. Yesterday, we witnessed the Senate turned its back on the sacred right to vote, and that is unacceptable.”
“While this is a disappointing day for America, we will not yield in our efforts to enshrine voting rights legislation into law. Nothing is off the table. We will keep fighting and making good trouble because the alternative is unacceptable.
“However, to those who voted against this most sacred aspect of American Democracy, I leave you with the immortal words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘Anyone who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. Anyone who accepts evil without protesting against it is cooperating with it.”