Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said Monday he “will not rest” until lawmakers pass national voting rights legislation, renewing his push for more reforms on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“No one is going to silence me on this voting rights issue,” Warnock said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Let’s do this”.
In the last Congress, Democrats tried and failed to pass sweeping voting rights legislation that sought to fight state laws in several Red states that had restricted ballot access.
After the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed the House in September 2021, Democrats in the Senate were unable to pass the bill in the chamber due to Republican opposition.
Now Warnock, who is also the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King pastored until his assassination in 1968, is pushing for federal voting rights legislation, arguing on MSNBC that the issue should be at the top of his party’s agenda. .
“The right to vote is not just another issue along with other rights,” Warnock said. “It is the very framework in which we can fight for all the things that matter to us.”
Warnock’s offensive on voting rights comes after President Biden during a speech Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church on what would have been the slain civil rights icon’s 94th birthday, the United States finds itself in a “turning point” for the fight for democracy.
But with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Democrats with a slim majority in the Senate, prospects for passing comprehensive voting rights legislation appear dim. Instead, Republicans have signaled that their legislative priorities include restricting abortion access and repealing key parts of some of the Biden administration’s most notable legislative victories over the past two years.