Senate Democrats are opening debate today on legislation that would protect communities of color from Republican-led efforts to roll back voting rights. The effort appears doomed after two Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — said they will not vote for a filibuster carveout that would allow the legislation to pass with a simple majority of senators. On Monday, the federal holiday marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the family of Dr. King marched with thousands of others in Washington, D.C., to demand Manchin and Sinema drop their support for the Senate filibuster. This is Dr. King’s granddaughter, 13-year-old Yolanda Renee King.
Yolanda Renee King: “For all the elected leaders out there who are tweeting, posting and celebrating my grandfather, Dr. King, today, my message to you is simple: Do not celebrate. Legislate. The Senate must do the right thing when this legislation comes to a vote tomorrow. Senator Sinema, Senator Manchin, our future hinges on your decision, and history will remember what choice you make.”
This comes as Republicans are leading voter disenfranchisement efforts nationwide, with GOP-led state legislatures passing more than 30 laws restricting ballot access, and introducing at least 400 more. After headlines, we’ll have more on the struggle for voting rights with Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.