AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday, all Texas Democratic Members of Congress released a letter urging Congress to pass new legislation to protect voting rights, as Republican attacks across the country continue to jeopardize Americans’ constitutional right to vote. With Republicans in Texas’ state legislature set to pass one of the worst of these attacks in the next five days, the entire Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation is calling on fellow federal legislators to urgently pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The full letter is available here.
“As members of the Texas delegation, we write in urgent need of your help to preserve every Texan’s right to vote. The Texas Legislature is considering a litany of bills that would make voting more difficult, particularly for voters of color and voters with disabilities. Our most marginalized citizens are being disproportionately targeted by these bills, which will have an impact not seen since the pre-civil rights era if enacted,” the letter reads.
The letter comes as Texas Republicans are on the brink of passing extremist anti-voter bill Senate Bill 7, a blatant attempt to plunge Texas back into the Jim Crow era and raise the racist specter of voter intimidation. The hateful legislation is part of a coordinated GOP attack on voting rights across the country this spring, as Republicans in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and beyond have pushed forward bills making it harder for people to vote. The attacks are a last-ditch effort to cling to power by an increasingly fringe, unpopular political party that has failed abysmally to accomplish anything positive for Americans in recent years.
Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lillie Schecter issued the following statement:
“All legislative session, Republican state lawmakers in Austin have vilified Harris County for its work on behalf of voters. Our county worked incredibly hard to provide our Harris County community with access to the ballot box during the worst pandemic in our lifetimes. In response to this work on behalf of our residents, Republicans have crafted an entire voter suppression regimen to prevent other counties from creating the types of opportunities to vote that Harris County has.
“These Republican attacks are racist, wrong, and illegal — and we need the federal government to step in and prevent state Republican lawmakers from continuing their attacks on our democracy. I applaud our Democratic Members of Congress for their leadership, and look forward to working alongside them to make the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act the law of the land, and ensure Texans’ right to vote is preserved.”
Texas Democratic Party Voter Protection Director Rose Clouston issued the following statement:
“I’m incredibly grateful for the leadership of our Texas Democratic Members of Congress in fighting to protect our constitutional right to vote. It is almost beyond belief that in 2021, Texans are still being forced to fight for our voting rights. We need federal action to safeguard against Republican attacks like SB 7 — and we need it now, before Republicans have the chance to silence us.
“All spring long, Democrats, voting rights allies, civil rights advocates, and Texans from across the state have been sounding the alarm on the barrage of racist anti-voter bills from Texas Republicans. From resurrecting the voter intimidation of the 1950s, to trying to gut ballot box access in our larger urban counties, these bills don’t even bother to hide the racism at their core. This is blatant hate, and Texans will not be silenced by it.
“Republicans are attacking voting rights for one reason: they know that they cannot win on the issues, so the only way for them to cling to power is to stop Texans from making our voices heard. However, for the last four months, we have spoken with one voice, and our message has been clear: we won’t let them. We are going to win this battle because the Constitution is on our side. And then we’re going to defeat Texas Republicans and take back our state.”