Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), one of Congress’ most outspoken advocates for changing the filibuster to pass Democrats’ voting rights legislation, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day pressed the senators who have poured cold water on filibuster reform to understand the urgency of the situation amid waves of state GOP anti-voting laws.
Warnock, who serves as senior pastor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church in Atlanta, argued during an appearance on “The View” that now is the time when lawmakers are revealing where they would’ve stood on the fight to allow Black Americans to vote more than fifty years ago.
“I submit members of the Senate, regardless of their party, no longer have to ask what we would have done then,” the Democrat said. “We’re doing whatever we would have done then right now.”
“This is a moral moment. This is a 1965 moment,” he added. “Because what they’ve done is, they’ve removed the protections that we secured in 1965, and we’ve seen the mushrooming of all of these terrible voter suppression laws all across the country.”
Warnock took aim at Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) insistence on preserving the filibuster for the sake of maintaining procedural norms in the Senate, even though the filibuster is the barrier to passing voting protections.
“Process cannot trump what is right, what is true, what is holy, what is noble,” the Georgia Democrat said. “We have the tools to do it. It’s a defining moral moment in America, and everybody needs to show where they stand.”
Warnock’s remarks come a day before the Senate is set to reconvene on Tuesday, when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to have the chamber take up the voting rights legislation, which GOP senators are posed to kill via the filibuster. Schumer also aims to have a debate over changing the filibuster rules to bypass the Republicans’ block, but he does not currently have the votes to enact the proposed changes thanks to Sinema and Manchin.