WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, issued the statement below following today’s vote to open debate on the bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:

“As members of Congress, our duty is to protect and defend the Constitution. No one understood this better than Congressman Lewis. He never stopped fighting for our democracy. He never gave up on justice. He kept pushing until the very end. And in that spirit, we will continue working to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This bill will restore and strengthen key portions of the Voting Rights Act, including provisions to prohibit discriminatory practices that keep people from the ballot box. It complements the Freedom to Vote Act, which I introduced alongside seven of my Democratic colleagues to set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can vote in the way that works best for them, regardless of their zip code.

“Americans have fought and died to protect the right to vote – they’ve done so on the battlefield and in marches during the Civil Rights Movement. Fifty-six years after the Voting Rights Act was passed by this chamber and signed into law, we will not back down. This is too important. We must restore the Senate so we can work together in the way the Founders intended to take on the challenges facing our democracy.”

As Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, Klobuchar has been a leading advocate for protecting the right to vote and increasing access to the electoral process. 

In September, Klobuchar introduced the Freedom to Vote Act alongside the members of the voting rights working group convened by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) including Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) to set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them.

In July, Klobuchar chaired the first Rules Committee field hearing in 20 years which spotlighted the unprecedented attack on voting rights in Georgia. At the hearing, voters and election officials testified about how legislation recently passed in the state imposes identification requirements for absentee voters, limits the use of ballot drop boxes, and makes it a crime for volunteers to offer voters food and water to voters waiting in line.

# # #