WASHINGTON — Today, just days after the first anniversary of the violent Capitol insurrection and as part of this coming week’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy, President Joe Biden will deliver a speech calling for urgent action to protect our democracy. President Biden, who served in the Senate for 40 years, has previously expressed support for a one-time change to Senate rules to end the filibuster in order to pass legislation that enshrines voting rights protections and strengthens our democracy, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Common Defense Political Director Naveed Shah released the following statement:
“The January 6th storm of the Capitol Building was an unprecedented attack on our democracy. In order to prevent another insurrection, we must institute strong democracy safeguards that protect the freedom to vote for every American. President Biden’s speech today in Atlanta, at a place with profound civil rights history, will be a powerful call to do just that by any legal means necessary– including a carveout of the filibuster for voting rights.
“I served in Iraq during their second ever national elections. On that day, the insurgents weren’t after us Americans, but instead were targeting their own citizens to prevent them from exercising their right to vote. I never thought I would see anything like that here, but on January 6th, 2021, I was both proven wrong and reminded how fragile our democracy truly is. As veterans who risked their lives to defend democracy, we commend President Biden and Senate Democrats for leading the charge to protect our voting rights.
“In years past, we would be able to commend both parties, like in 2006 when the Senate passed an extension to the Voting Rights Act unanimously. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has blindly followed their leaders and have chosen anti-democratic laws over what our nation stands for. State legislatures are instituting voter suppression and ballot restriction measures across the country, including in Georgia, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Jim Crow era. In doing so, they are continuing the coup that began after the 2020 election with the Big Lie, and attacking the most fundamental, inalienable rights of Americans: the freedom to vote.
“As the Senate has done recently when it came time to pass tax breaks for the rich and the confirmation of judges, the Senate can and must amend the filibuster in order to secure our democracy now. Otherwise, we may not have the chance to have our voices heard in the next election.”