Congressman John Sarbanes on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Greek-American Congressman John P Sarbanes who represents Maryland’s Third Congressional District shared an update on January 21 on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. His statement follows:

This week the United States Senate failed to muster sufficient votes to change its rules, with the result that the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act did not receive an up or down vote and was thwarted by the filibuster.

The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act was a combined version of transformational voting rights and democracy reform legislation that would have broadened access to the ballot box, pulled secret money out of the shadows, combatted election sabotage and prohibited partisan gerrymandering.

“While I am deeply disappointed by the bill’s failure, I am proud that, on five separate occasions over the last three years, the House of Representatives passed various versions of the bill and ultimately succeeded in putting these issues squarely before the Senate.

As author of the original version of this legislation, H.R. 1, the For the People Act, it was a privilege to work closely every step of the way with dedicated colleagues in the House and Senate, with staff members determined to make a difference and with countless others in my district and across the country who kept showing up against all odds. Their unflagging commitment to this effort was and will always be a tremendous source of inspiration.

John Lewis taught us, “Never give up, never give in, never give out. Keep the faith, and keep your eyes on the prize. Together, we can redeem the soul of America.”

Every day, in every arena, the fight for voting rights continues.


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