A familiar refrain from John Lewis, the late congressman and voting rights champion, was this:
The right to vote is precious, almost sacred.
President Biden echoed these words in championing House passage of the For the People Act:
The right to vote is sacred and fundamental—it is the right from which all of our other rights as Americans spring. This landmark legislation is urgently needed to protect that right, to safeguard the integrity of our elections, and to repair and strengthen our democracy.
People For the American Way thanks both the president and vice president for taking a strong stand on behalf of H.R. 1, along with the 220 House members who cast their votes in favor of this historic legislation. As attention shifts to the Senate, the administration must continue to send the message that it’s time to get the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) over the finish line, it having languished for nearly two years in Senator McConnell’s legislative graveyard.
President Biden has the opportunity to do just that in his upcoming address to a joint session of Congress. Not only should he call on the Senate to pass the bill forthwith so that he can sign it into law, but he should emphasize that comprehensive democracy reform also includes such legislation as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and the Democracy For All constitutional amendment.