Following Meeting With Biden, Durbin Speaks On Protecting Voting Rights

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor about defending the right to vote for every American. Durbin commended President Biden for speaking forcefully about protecting voting rights yesterday and urged Congress to step up to end the assault on voting rights in states across the country.

“Sixty years later I’m afraid, Jim Crow is still around,” Durbin said. “We are witnessing a coordinated, relentless, nationwide attack on voting rights, and on free and fair elections in America. Already this year, 17 states have enacted 28 new laws to make it harder for Americans – especially people of color – to vote. A total of nearly 400 bills limiting the right to vote have been introduced in 48 states. These new voter-suppression laws and proposed laws are the poisonous fruit of a dangerous, discredited lie—the ‘Big Lie’ – the same one that brought a murderous mob from a Trump rally to this Capitol on January 6th.”

“This Senate must end the Republican filibuster of the For the People Act [to] stop voter suppression in the states, get dark money out of politics, prevent billionaires from buying elections, and end partisan gerrymandering. We cannot stand on ceremony and tradition while the pillars of our democracy are destroyed. If we lose free and fair elections, we lose our democracy,” Durbin continued.

Durbin also urged his colleagues to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore and expand voting rights and prevent voter suppression.

“The right to vote is an American ideal.  It shouldn’t be a partisan battle,” Durbin said. “This Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of John Lewis’ passing. I miss him, he was a real friend.  When he left us, something in all of us wept.   But we can keep the spirit of John Lewis alive by defending the greatest cause of his life, the cause for which he nearly died as a young man on that bridge in Selma – the right of every American to vote.”

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.