Chris Lange, FISM News
Vice President Kamala Harris compared Republicans who blocked Democrats’ attempt to end the Senate filibuster in their push for election reform legislation to state troopers who assaulted black civil rights protesters on the 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, according to Reuters and The Washington Times reports.
Vice Pres. Kamala Harris marked the solemn anniversary of Bloody Sunday with remarks on voting rights in Selma, Alabama, making her trip as congressional efforts to restore the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act have faltered. https://t.co/tspRZuXVFf
— ABC News (@ABC) March 6, 2022
Harris used the opportunity to push Democrats’ narrative that Republicans sought to suppress voting rights of minorities by blocking Senate Democrats’ push to bypass the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the Biden administration’s controversial election reform legislation that would effectively ban voter ID requirements and remove states’ powers to govern elections.
Addressing a crowd gathered at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, Harris lauded black civil rights demonstrators who were arrested and beaten by state troopers as they crossed the bridge during a 1965 protest against the shooting death of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson.
“Today we stand on this bridge at a different time. We again, however, find ourselves caught in between injustice and justice, between disappointment and determination, still in a fight, to form a more perfect union,” Harris said. “Nowhere is that more clear than when it comes to the ongoing fight to secure the freedom to vote.”
Nineteen states have passed election reform laws following the 2020 presidential election that saw Democratic strongholds throughout the country institute unregulated ballot drop boxes and multiple allegations of election irregularities and voter fraud. The vice president accused Republican leaders of creating “laws that, put simply, make it much more difficult for people to vote.” House and Senate Republicans, however, argue that the Democrats’ pair of election reform bills is a flagrant power grab designed to federalize elections and politicize enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
Harris acknowledged that “a record number of people” voted in the 2020 elections but said that “some saw it as a threat.”
“And so as powerful people have done many times in our nation’s history, they launched an assault on the freedom to vote,” she said of GOP lawmakers.
Harris joined several civil rights advocates and Democratic leaders in attendance in a symbolic reenactment of the Edmund Pettus Bridge crossing.
“So last year, we all joined together. We locked arms and lifted our voices and fought to pass Federal Voting rights legislation,” she told the crowd. “We brought the Freedom to Vote act, yes, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the floor of the United States Senate, and on the night of Jan. 19, every Republican senator in the United States Senate voted to block passage of this law,” she continued.
Tomorrow Vice President Harris heads to Selma, Alabama to speak at an event marking the 57th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Last time @VP was in Selma was two years ago, March 2020 with John Lewis’ last march across the bridge. pic.twitter.com/RM2UAmQUcj
— POTUS & VP Updates (@POTUSVP46) March 5, 2022
President Biden also marked the Bloody Sunday anniversary with a renewed call for lawmakers to pass election reform legislation.
“The battle for the soul of America has many fronts. The right to vote is the most fundamental,” he said in a statement.