(WASHINGTON)—The Project On Government Oversight is infuriated that the Senate has once again used a procedural tool to prevent debate about protecting the right to vote, this time abdicating its responsibility to consider the Freedom to Vote Act. It’s imperative that Congress pass the reforms in this bill: Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. The refusal to even debate this urgent legislation should motivate the Senate to reform the filibuster.
The right to vote is fundamental to our democratic republic, and the ongoing assault on access to the ballot at the state level gravely threatens that right. Suppressing individuals’ ability to vote denies them the opportunity to vote leaders out of office when they abuse their power or act corruptly. Without this crucial check on our government, we cannot have a fair, functioning democracy.
The repeated use of the filibuster to block deliberation of legislation reaffirming the right to vote has exposed that the rule does not foster debate and bipartisanship. Instead, it has become an impediment to compromise. The filibuster is now used as a tool for blanket obstruction that regularly prevents Congress from even considering legislation.
“It’s imperative that Congress pass voting rights legislation, and it’s clear that the legislative filibuster is standing in the way. The Senate needs to make reforms to its rules that will reduce opportunities for the minority to utterly obstruct lawmaking and that will instead foster debate and the ability to pass meaningful legislative reforms,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project On Government Oversight. “The freedom to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and it’s the best tool Americans’ have to hold their government and their leaders accountable. The health of our democracy is at stake, and the Senate must find a way forward on voting rights.”
To once again function as a lawmaking body, the Senate must reform the filibuster and encourage more robust debate and compromise. Lawmakers cannot let crucial voting rights legislation die without debate in the Senate again.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.
We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.