WASHINGTON–Congressman Andre Carson says he’s frustrated watching Senate Republicans effectively blocking legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, by using the filibuster. He said during a Facebook live town hall Tuesday night, that he plans to make ending the filibuster a top priority for 2022.
“In recent years we have seen many Republican-led states across our country, including Indiana, pass voter suppression bills,” he said. “Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election has really accelerated this trend.”
Carson cited the two pieces of legislation passed in the House and blocked in the U.S. Senate as reasons to end the filibuster, comparing the process to what was going on during and before the Civil Rights era.
“The filibuster is the same tool that southern senators used to block Civil Rights bills in the 50s and 60s and unfortunately history is repeating itself,” said Carson. “State legislatures are passing laws that restrict the right to vote by a simple majority, but Senate Democrats can’t do the same to pass laws that strengthen the right to vote.”
The bills in question are supporting primarily by Democrats. Republicans, like Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, have said that they believe the bills are a way for Democrats to continue rules that were in place during the pandemic that make it easier to vote by mail, which they believe could inhibit the integrity of the vote.
“Ending the filibuster and passing these voting rights bills are one of my top priorities,” said Carson, who said he believes in the necessity of the bills because “the Supreme Court has effectively weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965”.
Carson also said he is frustrated because Senate Republicans have also blocked the passage of the George Floys Justice in Policing Act, which he says will provide greater accountability for police, providing money for training and body and dash cams.
“As a former law enforcement officer, nobody understands the value of policing more than I do,” he said during the town hall. “But, I can also tell you stories about the white supremacist elements that I saw first hand in the law enforcement community.”
Carson said he and other Democrats will not give up.