Issued November 03, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC -- Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today after a motion to proceed with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act failed in the Senate. This was the first time the Voting Rights Advancement Act has been considered by the Senate since the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision in 2013. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was last reauthorized in 2006 with unanimous bipartisan support.
“Voting is one of the most powerful tools all working people -- Black, Latinx, white, Asian Pacific Islander and Indigenous -- have to ensure their voices are heard on the job and in their communities. So it’s not surprising that self-interested politicians have resorted to introducing and passing more than 400 anti-voter bills in states since the record breaking turnout of the 2020 election. However, what is even more disappointing is the fact that, with the exception of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Senate Republicans continue to use the filibuster to uphold these racist and undemocratic legislative attacks on voters across our country.
“Senate Republicans have used the filibuster to obstruct voting rights legislation for the fourth time this year. By failing to move the bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act forward, which would remove state driven barriers for voting for millions of Americans, Senate leaders are showing us they have no problem with states silencing the voices of home care workers, janitors, fast food workers, unemployment claims processors and other essential workers who kept our country operating during the pandemic. They have also shown blatant disrespect for John Lewis’s legacy as well as the thousands of working people who were on the frontlines during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Enough is enough. The time for voting rights is now.”
“SEIU members, worker leaders in the Fight for $15 and a Union, and our allies will not let today’s inaction by the Senate silence us. We are growing more determined each day to build an inclusive multi-racial democracy where we all can participate, no matter where we are from, what we look like or what we do for a living.”