House

Lawmaker arrested amid voting rights protest says he’d ‘do it again’

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), who was arrested on Thursday while participating in a voting rights protest near the Capitol, said he would “do it again and again and again.”

“Yesterday, I was arrested alongside over 20 people, including youth hunger striking for our democracy. And I will do it again and again and again. I will keep doing everything in my power to bring attention to the crisis we are in and ensure our democracy functions in a manner that represents the people,” Bowman said in a statement on Friday. “Voting rights are on the line along with everything else we stand for.”

Bowman said that the House “did its part” to pass voting rights legislation last week. He called all 50 Senate Republicans and two moderate Democrat holdouts who voted against changing filibuster rules for the voting rights legislation “a direct threat to our democracy” and claimed they were “standing in the way of progress.”

Pointing to the generations of Black Americans who came before him — including leaders like late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Claudette Colvin — and their political activism, Bowman said that “without them, there is no me — the first Black Congressperson to represent my district in American history.”

“So one thing must be made clear: I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart,” Bowman warned.

The comments come one day after Bowman was arrested near the Capitol while participating in a voting rights protest. Bowman’s office said that he had been arrested along with other protesters by Capitol Police, though police would not confirm to The Hill in a statement if the lawmaker was among those arrested.

The protest followed a stinging defeat for Senate Democrats after all 50 Senate Republicans and two Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — voted against changing the 60-vote filibuster rule for Democrats’ voting rights legislation. The filibuster is considered a roadblock for Democrats, who are seeking to pass their priorities in an evenly divided Senate.

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