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Statement on S.1 Filibuster: Today is a Step to Passing the For the People Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Senate Republican’s filibuster of the For the People Act today, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:

“Make no mistake: Today’s vote marks a step on the path to passing the For the People Act — desperately needed, transformative democracy legislation.

“Senate Republicans have demonstrated their refusal even to permit debate on the For the People Act, and their willingness to deploy the filibuster to block pro-democracy reform.

“Now the path forward is clear: Senate Democrats must bring the legislation to the floor again, this time prepared to set aside or work around the filibuster and then pass the For the People Act. This is going to happen.

“Moving forward will require unanimity among Senate Democrats. Senator Joe Manchin has expressed concerns about the filibuster and the importance of working toward bipartisanship on election reform. He has also said that inaction in the face of widespread voter suppression is not an option. Today’s vote unfortunately provides still more evidence that, right now, there is no bipartisan avenue to defending voting rights and democracy, as Senator Manchin has made clear he is committed to doing.

“In the coming days and weeks, Americans across the country are going to raise their voices still louder in a powerful demand for democracy, with petitions, letters, lobby visits, marches and creative demonstrations.

“We the People have no intention of letting democracy die on our watch.

“For our democracy is facing a crisis unlike any moment in recent generations. State legislators across the country are waging an overt and nakedly racist assault on voting rights. Extreme partisan and racial gerrymandering is rigging the electoral game. And Big Money is exerting a vice grip on our democracy, with, for example, just 100 individuals responsible for 70 percent of all Super PAC contributions.

“At this crossroads moment, we choose either to let the forces of racism and oligarchy eviscerate our democracy; or we insist on the transformative democracy policies that are overwhelmingly favored by Americans of all political stripes. That’s the choice, and it’s not really a choice at all; there’s only one acceptable option for a decent and just society. With Americans making their demands clear, we are confident that Senate Democrats will act in the coming weeks to pass the For the People Act and send it to President Biden to sign into law.”