The Time is Now to End the Filibuster and Pass the Freedom to Vote Act

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yesterday, Senate Republicans once again used the filibuster loophole to block even having a debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, a transformative piece of legislation that contains crucial provisions from the For the People Act and would counter discriminatory anti-voting laws that are being passed by Republican-led state legislatures around the country. These systemic attacks by state legislatures are designed to restrict voting rights and intimidate voters, particularly voters of color, women, young people, voters with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, from participating in this fundamental pillar of our democracy. The Freedom to Vote Act would counter these attacks by protecting the right to vote, ending partisan gerrymandering, reducing the influence of big money in politics, strengthening our election infrastructure, and stopping partisan election subversion.

Instead of using this opportunity to reform our democracy and protect the voting rights of all Americans, Republican lawmakers in the Senate have shamefully chosen to use the filibuster, an outdated rule of procedure that has been used to block civil rights and voting rights legislation in the past. Senate Republicans have made it clear that appeasing their corporate backers and misguided extremists is more important than protecting our democracy. CWA members will not stand for it.

Yesterday, delegates to the 78th CWA Convention adopted a resolution, entitled “Ending the Filibuster and Saving Our Democracy.” It states, "the filibuster prevents debate on critical issues including minimum wage increases, labor law reforms such as the PRO Act, immigration reform, and the Equality Act. It is long past time for this relic of slavery and Jim Crow to go – and for the Senate to move immediately to pass the Freedom to Vote Act."

In his keynote address to the delegates to the 78th CWA Convention, CWA President Chris Shelton stressed the importance of passing the Freedom to Vote Act. "Just as every generation has had to stand up and fight against reactionary forces that want to take us backwards, now is our time to stand up and say ENOUGH!," Shelton said. "We will not turn back. We will fight to expand our voting rights and defeat the campaign to undermine our democracy."

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About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.

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