Padilla Calls to End Filibuster to Protect Voting Rights After Republicans Block Bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the Republican filibuster of the bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act:

“One year ago today, our nation held a successful election in the face of a historic challenge: a sitting president actively working to spread disinformation and sow doubt regarding our electoral process. Our democracy survived—forever scarred by the deadly insurrection that President Trump incited—but the grave threat against it remains. In the last year, Republican-controlled statehouses have taken up dozens of partisan bills to suppress the right to vote and undermine election administration. Instead of recognizing this crisis, Senate Republicans have abused the filibuster to block any solutions, including the bipartisan bill we voted on today.

“My Senate Democratic colleagues and I have exhausted the options for securing sufficient Republican votes on this issue. In July, we asked Republicans to open a debate on voting rights, and they unanimously refused. In October, we tailored a bill to address their concerns, but once again, zero Republicans were willing to even open a debate. Today, we voted to open debate on an update to the Voting Rights Act—a bill that was last reauthorized by the Senate unanimously, 98-0, in 2006. Only one Republican voted in support, not enough to overcome the filibuster.

“On the anniversary of Election Day 2020, the time has come to face reality: there simply are not ten Republican senators who are willing to safeguard our free and fair elections. Democrats must end the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation. Safeguarding an arcane procedural rule cannot outweigh safeguarding our democracy itself.”