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Hoyer Statement on President Biden's Remarks Urging Action on Voting Rights Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this evening on President Biden’s remarks urging action on voting rights legislation:

“Today, President Biden demonstrated his commitment to the oath he took to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution’ when he declared that his Administration would prioritize efforts to safeguard Americans’ right to vote.  He took that oath just days after his predecessor instigated a violent attack on our Capitol and after many Republicans in Congress voted to side with the insurrectionists against our Constitution and the rule of law.  The right to vote in free and fair elections is the guarantee of all others and the most essential tool that our citizens have to ensure that their government is always working For the People. 

“So far this Congress, the House has already passed major voting-rights legislation in the form of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, and H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  Together, these would implement several key reforms to make it easier for eligible Americans to cast their ballots and have their voices heard.  These include restoration of the full protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that would prevent states from imposing discriminatory voter suppression laws, as well as automatic voter registration, a hotline to report voting-rights violations, and making Election Day a federal holiday.  It is essential that Congress take these steps in response to the blatantly undemocratic efforts in many Republican-led states to make it harder for Americans to vote or to register to vote. I’m proud that the House acted swiftly. Sadly, the Senate’s rules have allowed its Republican minority to hold hostage these bills to protect our democracy while their colleagues in statehouses work to dismantle institutions of majority rule and our fair system of elections. 

“In his remarks today, President Biden declared that his Administration will do everything in its power to safeguard Americans’ right to vote and implored the Senate to meet the urgency of this moment with the action it demands. While suspending the filibuster for questions on voting rights is a necessary start, I believe that the filibuster in all cases runs counter to the Constitutional premise of majority rule and ought to be eliminated entirely.  The filibuster empowers a minority to impose its will on the majority of Americans and the majority of states.  Senators must act now to put an end to this barrier to the Congress truly representing the will of the American people. The United States Senate must take action to defend our democracy and Constitution.”