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Warnock: We can’t afford to give up on voting rights

Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said on Monday that he “won’t rest” until lawmakers pass national voting rights legislation, renewing his push for further reforms on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Nobody’s about to silence me on this issue of voting rights,” Warnock said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We’re going to get this done.”

In the last Congress, Democrats tried and failed to pass sweeping voting rights legislation that sought to fight back against state laws in a number of GOP states that had curtailed access to the ballot. 

After the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed the House in September 2021, Democrats in the Senate were unable to get the bill through the chamber because of Republican opposition. 

Now Warnock, who is also the senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor until his assassination in 1968, is pressing to get federal voting rights legislation passed, arguing on MSNBC that the issue should be at the top of his party’s agenda.

“Voting rights is not just some other issue alongside other rights,” Warnock said. “It’s the very framework in which we get to fight for all the things we care about.”

Warnock’s offensive on voting rights comes after President Biden during a speech on Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church on what would have been the slain civil rights icon’s 94th birthday that the U.S. is at an “inflection point” for the fight for democracy.

But with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Democrats holding a slim majority in the Senate, the prospects of passing sweeping voting rights legislation seem slim. Republicans have signaled instead that their legislative priorities include curtailing abortion access and repealing key parts of some of the Biden administration’s most prominent legislative victories over the last two years.

Tags Joe Biden MLK Raphael Warnock voting rights Warnock

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