SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A push from the Biden administration to make voting rights a priority may be in response to pressure from Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock.
The Democrat recently made a passionate speech on the Senate floor as rules were suspended so the debt ceiling bill could be passed. It was a one-time change that Warnock says should be used to debate and pass voting rights.
“Surely some of my Republican friends believe at the very least that in this chamber, we should be able to debate about voting rights,” said Warnock. “After all, voting rights are preservative of all other rights.”
Warnock says voting rights should be as important as the debt ceiling. He says the argument that passage of any new voting rights bill should be a bipartisan effort is a good one but he’s doubtful that it should hold up serious debate.
“But here’s the thing, we must remember, slavery was bipartisan. Jim Crow segregation was bipartisan. The refusal of women’s suffrage was bipartisan. The denial of the basic dignity of the LGBTQ community has long been bipartisan,” said Warnock. “So when colleagues in this chamber talk to me about bipartisanship which I believe in, I just have to ask at whose expense?”
Warnock’s argument comes after many red states, including Georgia, have passed new election laws this year. A new Texas law is already being investigated by the Justice Department.
Supporters say these laws are designed to ensure voter integrity and that federal legislation is not needed. Perhaps more importantly, Senate Republicans show no sign of allowing any bill to move forward.
But Warnock says he’s determined to appeal to his own Democrats hake things up if necessary.
He was a guest Thursday on the Joe Madison (the Black Edge) radio program on Sirius radio.
“So we moved to save the economy and so far, the Senate has been unwilling to do the same thing to save the democracy even as the lights on the democracy are flashing. I think that that is hypocrisy, I think it is a contradiction that I cannot abide and the nation cannot afford,” said Warnock.