March 28, 2021

The Voting Rights Act, known as H.R.1. is the piece of legislation that has Mitch McConnell and the entire Republican legislature freaking out. This is why McConnell keeps threatening all hell breaking loose if the Democrats push to remove the filibuster. Why? Because this law would dramatically revamp voter rights, increase protections, remove many of the obstacles state Republicans put in place to try to steal elections.

Dana Bash asked Georgia's Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock about the need to pass HR1, and given the voter suppression happening in his state, he didn't hesitate.

BASH: Does President Biden need to get personally involved, step in, get Republicans and Democrats in a room to find bipartisan legislation and a path forward?

WARNOCK: I think the President is engaged on this issue. When I've talked to him, he's agreed that voting rights are foundational. That this is the work we have to do and I have to tell you, I was heartened when I heard him speak so clearly about how urgent this is, recognizing that this is Jim Crow 2.0. It reminded me of another President, Lyndon B Johnson, who what he saw was going on in the South, people standing up for their rights, he gave that famous address to the nation and he ended it by lifting up the words from the anthem of the movement. He said "and we shall overcome."

When Bash asked Warnock about the filibuster, he remained focused on voting rights.

BASH: I know the focus should be on Republicans and not on changing the filibuster. I hear you on that, the reality is unless Republicans get on board, the filibuster is a big obstacle to this legislation becoming law. At his press conference, President Biden indicated he's open to some reforms and says he considers the filibuster a relic of Jim Crow. But he still won't call for eliminating it outright? Does he need to do that?

WARNOCK: I think that we have to pass voting rights no matter what. And the reason why I have insisted that we talk to our Republican sisters and brothers on the other side of the aisle is because if we don't do anything else in the Senate, we have to stand up for the Democracy. The filibuster at the end of the day, is about minority rights in the Senate. How are you going to insist on protecting minority rights in the Senate while refusing to protect minority rights in society?

BASH: So is that a yes?

WARNOCK: The ball is in their court. They could vote the bill up. But if they don't, we have to pass voting rights no matter what.

Listen to Rev. Sen. Warnock keep the press on track about what's important, and who is responsible for this entire discussion about the filibuster in the first place.

Voter rights is THE issue the Senate needs to focus on during the first 2 years of Joe Biden's term. If they wait, they may not have a chance again if the GOP takes control of the House or the Senate in 2022.

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