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Press Release

Senate Democrats Vote Unanimously to Debate the For the People Act; Brennan Center Reacts

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined 49 other Democrats in voting to debate the For the People Act (S. 1).

June 22, 2021

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had this reaction:

“Today’s vote was politically and substantively significant. It showed that Senate Democrats are united in recognizing the intensifying threats facing our democracy and the urgent need to address them. The House of Representatives, the White House, and now the full Senate Democratic caucus are pushing forward for action. There will be twists and turns, but it is clear that this legislation has strong and growing momentum, even in the face of the Senate and its procedures. Now even more intense negotiations and legislative activity should begin. 

“This is a moment of grave danger for our democracy. The right to vote is under assault. Extreme gerrymandering threatens to distort congressional elections for a decade. And big money is swamping our politics. The For the People Act, along with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, is our last best hope of meeting this moment. There is no substitute for federal legislative action, and there is no imaginary bill that will somehow melt Republican resistance in DC and win sixty votes in this environment. Time is short. What’s at stake is the freedom to vote and the chance for fair representation for millions of Americans.

“This bill is extraordinarily popular with the American people. It has momentum in Congress. Senate Democrats have shown they understand what’s at stake, and now they need to show that they’re willing to act. We look forward to negotiations over the bill continuing and seeing President Biden sign it into law.”