Rep. John Lewis was right, and President Biden was prescient to quote him; our right to vote, and our democracy itself, is not guaranteed. And if nothing is done to address the recent attacks on two key foundations of democracy — the right to vote and the peaceful transition of power — then our democracy stands at great risk.
The House also passed a bill to launch an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, but Senate Republicans blocked it Friday with a 54 to 35 vote after using the filibuster for the first time this year. Despite saying in February that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the attack on the Capitol, McConnell pressured his Republican colleagues and asked them to vote against the commission as “a personal favor” to him.
Investigating an insurrection and protecting voting rights shouldn’t be controversial or partisan, but McConnell and his Republican caucus are intent on stopping these efforts in their tracks.
Rep. Lewis was willing to put his body and life on the line to defend the sacred right to vote. Now, President Biden and Senate Democrats simply need to reform the Senate rules. It’s one thing to defend the filibuster in the abstract, it’s another to allow it to block the Jan. 6 insurrection commission and the For the People Act.
In his December speech, President Biden called on the voters of Georgia to “stand up and take back our democracy.” They did their part. Now it’s time for him and Senate Democrats to do theirs.