Carper: Congress Needs to Act to Protect Americans’ Right to Vote
WASHINGTON, D.C—U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), today released the following statement after voting to change the Senate rules on the filibuster in order to end debate and pass voting rights legislation:
“There is perhaps no greater responsibility of Congress at this moment than protecting Americans’ sacred right to vote. With mounting restrictions on access to the ballot box across the country, inaction will lead to the disenfranchisement of countless voters—particularly low-income and Black Americans—and erode confidence in our electoral process.
“Those of us who serve in Congress take a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution. Today, the Senate failed to uphold that oath and protect the bedrock of our democracy—the right to vote—even though a majority of United States Senators and the overwhelming majority of the American people support it.
“Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have used the filibuster to obstruct the path forward for the fourth time this Congress. So, while I did not come to this decision lightly, it has become clear to me that if the filibuster is standing in the way of protecting our democracy, then the filibuster isn’t working for our democracy. If given the choice between democracy and the filibuster, democracy will always have my vote.
“Our work to form a perfect union does not stop today. We must continue our work to protect Americans’ sacred right to vote.”
Earlier today, Senator Carper spoke on the Senate floor on the urgency to pass voting rights legislation. Carper is an original cosponsor of both bills included in the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act that the Senate voted on today—the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Late last year, Carper penned an op-ed in Delaware’s News Journal announcing his support for eliminating the Senate filibuster for voting rights legislation after Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.