Durbin: The Fight For Voting Rights Did Not End With Yesterday's Republican Filibuster

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today slammed Senate Republicans for filibustering the For The People Act, a bill that would strengthen voting rights, secure our elections, reform our broken campaign finance system, and combat corruption through improving ethics laws for federal government officials.

“Welcome back to the fight to preserve voting rights that has never ended. It didn't start on that bridge in Selma and it won't end in this chamber in Washington. This battle is going to continue because there are those people who know that if you want to control America politically, you've got to control those who vote,” Durbin said. “Make no mistake, when Republicans come to the floor and go through these long, elaborate explanations of why a coordinated effort by Republican legislatures in 20 different states is just good government, I think they know better. It is not good government. And it's not good for the people in those states, particularly if you're a minority.”

Since the January 6th insurrection and the proliferation of Donald Trump’s “Big Lie,” many Republican state legislatures have pushed through a wave of voter suppression laws on the basis of false theories of widespread voter fraud—many of which would be prohibited under the For The People Act for federal elections.  The legislation also includes significant campaign finance and ethics reforms aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability in our political system.

Durbin highlighted the importance of passing legislation to strengthen voting rights because of the continued efforts by Republicans to sweep the January 6th insurrection under the rug and pass laws to limit the right of people to vote.

“Three weeks ago, Senate Republicans used a filibuster to kill a bill creating an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate who was behind this January 6th insurrection,” Durbin said. “This ‘Big Lie’ is metastasizing and instead of stopping it, our Republican colleagues are using all their leverage in the Senate to prevent us from confronting it and halting the damage. The cloture vote yesterday was day one in the fight to preserve voting rights and democracy. It wasn't the end of the story. Welcome to day two. We mean to keep marching until we cross that bridge and stop this assault on our democracy and put an end to the ‘Big Lie’ once and for all.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.