REPORT: 16 Republican Senators Abandoned Prior Support for Voting Rights
Washington, D.C. — As Senate Republicans refused to join Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and blocked the bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, an Accountable.US analysis reveals the 16 Senate Republicans — including Sens. McConnell, Grassley, and Cornyn — that previously voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. The watchdog group called on these senators to explain to Americans why they no longer believe the right to vote is a right worth protecting.
“The Republican senators who once helped preserve the freedom to vote need to explain why they now want to deny that fundamental right for millions, including many disabled Americans,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The recent rash of egregious state-level voter suppression schemes aimed at people of color is all the reminder they need that Congress plays as vital a role today as it ever has in protecting the right to vote for all.”
Senate Republicans’ obstruction against the much-needed legislation comes as new polling shows that more than three in five Americans support the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Last month, Accountable.US released a report revealing that several companies — including Verizon, Target, and Amazon — that publicly support voting rights have donated $174,000 in 2021 alone to the Senate Republicans who are so vehemently against the Freedom To Vote Act — the most significant voting rights bill in generations.
Sixteen sitting Republican senators have previously voted for reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act but now refuse to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
- In 2006, Sens. McConnell, Grassley, Shelby, Crapo, Collins, Burr, Inhofe, Graham, Thune, Cornyn, Blackburn, Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Moran, and Wicker voted for the 2006 reauthorization.
- In 1982, Sen. Grassley both voted for and cosponsored the VRA reauthorization.
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