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tv   Senate Majority Leader Schumer Speaks to the Press  CSPAN  January 18, 2022 6:10pm-6:16pm EST

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need to be fought for and with all the challenges -- >> the voting rights bill debate and filibuster rules for democrats coming either caucus and we continue live at the briefing we are not all going to speak some of us are. for the first time this is the very first time today that congress has been debating a bill to protect voting rights on the senate floor. the freedom to vote act and the john lewis voting rights act and win, lose or draw members of this chamber were elected to
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debate and vote. win lose or draw we will both especially on an issue is vital is that beating heart of our democracy. democrats have tried for months to hold the voting rights debate on the floor and weep in stoppage time by republicans. there is still a lot of work to do. now as we debate these measures the senate is going to confront a critical question. shall the members of this chamber do what is necessary to pass these bills and move into the president's desk? the struggle for voting rights is one of of -- in 1789 in most states you had to be a male white protestant property owner to vote. that cuts out most of the people here. and we have had been in the
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group -- inexorable push to vote or they right to vote is vital and opponents and proponents know it. the white southerners the number one thing they wanted to do was prevent the freed slaves from voting from anything else with power and we have had steps forward and then we have had steps back and unfortunate right now the republican legislature is taking a large step back. so senate democrats are going to fight the fight. fight the fight. we are under no illusions. we know this is not uphill fight especially when virtually every senate republican to their shame is staunchly against any legislation to protect the right
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to vote. i want to be clear, when this chamber confronts a question this important one so vital to our country and to our democracy with its long history you don't just say nevermind, it's too hard. pushing and we keep working and we keep fighting and that's what we have been doing and that's what we are doing and that's what we'll continue to do. it's been a long hard road to get to this point. all the members here and many others have given such strong strength in our caucus and many of worked these bills. the senate is interesting considering in debating voting rights legislation and the republicans have spent the same amount of time refusing to negotiate with our members including senator manchin to one won even debate this legislation. over the past year as you know
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republicans controlled legislatures have worked to pass legislation that would make it harder for americans to vote following the present state lie particular aimed at people of color and young people and disabled and elderly people and people live within cities. it's an effort, it's an effort to john does the entire election process. if the senate cannot protect a right to vote which is the cornerstone of our democracy than the senate rules must be reformed, must be reformed. if the republicans blocked votes on the legislation before us i will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for talking filibuster on this legislation as recommended by a number of our colleagues would have been working on this reform for a long time.
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methodically changes to the senate rules have been necessary to adapt to changed circumstances. even senator bird the traditionalist did that. to address voting rights in a timely fashion is an opportunity to do exactly that to change the senate rules to promote the public debate that is restorative of the senate -- >> we will leave the briefing as the senate gaveled back in this session here on c-span2.

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