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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.”