Republicans are abusing filibusters, while Democrats are fighting for the right to vote

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There are countless issues where ideological differences between the two parties are understandable, but the right to vote should not be one of them.

Every elected official in America should work to defend the voting rights of every eligible voter – regardless of their political background. It is the cornerstone of our democracy. The ballot box is the only place where all Americans are equal and have equal influence on the future of this country and their place in it. No one should be kept from it by politics.

BIDEN SAYS THAT IS ON THE SIDE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS

FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden arrives to make remarks on voting rights during a speech on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, January 11, 2022.

FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden arrives to make remarks on voting rights during a speech on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, January 11, 2022.
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Our founders established a government of the people, of the people and of the people – but all too often, lately, the government has been in the process of deciding exactly which people should participate. It’s not democratic, and it’s not American.

I do not want anyone to stand in line for hours to cast their ballots or to fight to find a place to vote or to make sure that they have not been removed from the electoral rolls, whether they are in my party or not. . We must not agree on who we are to vote for, but we must agree on the fundamental importance of the vote.

President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing Senate filibuster rules to ensure the right to vote is defended, at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, due to Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Atlanta.

President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing Senate filibuster rules to ensure the right to vote is defended, at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, due to Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Atlanta.
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This is a landmark moment for our democracy, and we must put our disagreements aside to address it. The right to vote should always be an issue that transcends party politics – for decades it was. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and George W. Bush all supported voting rights during their tenure. And when the Senate passed the extension of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, it passed 98-0.

Legislation like the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act should have the same kind of unanimous bipartisan support today. These are pieces of legislation with a noble, simple goal: to ensure that you are able to vote, knowing that your vote will be spoken and respected.

FILE - This archive photo on June 16, 2010 participates rep.  John Lewis, D-Ga., In a ceremony to unveil two plaques acknowledging the contributions of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the United States Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, Fil)

FILE – This archive photo on June 16, 2010 participates rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., In a ceremony to unveil two plaques acknowledging the contributions of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the United States Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, Fil)

Instead, these pieces of legislation are being blocked by those who would rather deal with baseless, disproven allegations of voter fraud and stolen elections. The American people deserve better. They know that there is only one way to give “electoral integrity” and that is to stem this tide of attacks on our democracy.

We have been working for months to build bipartisan support for these bills. Every time we try to move these bills forward, we are unfortunately met with biased opposition. Too many of my colleagues across the aisle will not even support a vote on open debate and abuse the filibuster – a once rarely used mechanism that has now become chewing gum in the works of democracy.

If something as fundamental and important as protecting voting rights can be slowed down or stopped by the filibuster, then it’s time we reconsider the filibuster’s role in the Senate. The rules for using filibusters have been changed before, such as when then-majority leader McConnell lowered the voting threshold for Supreme Court nominees.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Discusses Democrats' proposed filibuster changes at a news conference in the Russell Senate office building on January 11, 2022. (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Discusses Democrats’ proposed filibuster changes at a news conference in the Russell Senate office building on January 11, 2022. (Tyler Olson / Fox News)

The filibuster is not a product of the Constitution or a pillar of our democracy, but the right to vote is. In a moment like this, where so much is at stake, it’s clear – if we are to reform the filibuster rules to protect the right to vote, then we must.

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Before the Civil Rights Hero and Congressman John Lewis passed, we worked together on a bill called the Voter Empowerment Act. Congressman Lewis, who knew more precisely than most the power of suffrage, said “the right to vote is precious, almost sacred.” I agree and I am convinced that almost all Americans feel the same way.

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We need principled men and women from both parties who support the rule of law, to stand up for democracy and for the right to vote. Voters, and the people they vote for, must reject the lies – big and small – that are being told about our choices and keep in mind that our rights and our future are connected. To protect our ability to be heard in the ballot box at the next election, we must make ourselves heard now.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LATE. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

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