Politics Lawmaker arrested amid voting rights protest says he'd 'do it again'
Analysis: Joe Biden puts it all on the line in voting rights battle
It took a year for Joe Biden to make an irrevocable bet that puts the credibility of his presidency on the line. If his bid now to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation fails, he'll lose more than just the bills he sees as vital to saving democracy. His drained political capital could spell the end of the entire domestic, legislative phase of his administration. © Patrick Semansky/AP President Joe Biden speaks in support of changing the Senate filibuster rules that have stalled voting rights legislation, at Atlanta University Center Consortium, on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, Tuesday, Jan.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), who was arrested on Thursday while participating in a voting rights protest near the Capitol, said he would "do it again and again and again."
"Yesterday, I was arrested alongside over 20 people, including youth hunger striking for our democracy. And I will do it again and again and again. I will keep doing everything in my power to bring attention to the crisis we are in and ensure our democracy functions in a manner that represents the people," Bowman said in a statement on Friday. "Voting rights are on the line along with everything else we stand for."
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Bowman said that the House "did its part" to pass voting rights legislation last week. He called all 50 Senate Republicans and two moderate Democrat holdouts who voted against changing filibuster rules for the voting rights legislation "a direct threat to our democracy" and claimed they were "standing in the way of progress."
Pointing to the generations of Black Americans who came before him - including leaders like late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Claudette Colvin - and their political activism, Bowman said that "without them, there is no me - the first Black Congressperson to represent my district in American history."
"So one thing must be made clear: I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart," Bowman warned.
King family to rally in Arizona for voting bills for MLK Day
PHOENIX (AP) — As the nation prepares to mark the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some members of his family are spending it in conservative-leaning Arizona to mobilize support for languishing federal voting rights legislation. Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King; and their daughter Yolanda Renee King, 13, will take part Saturday in an on-the-ground campaign for voting rights in Phoenix. They will march with local activists and supporters from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, a predominantly Black church, and speak about the importance of “no celebration without legislation.
The comments come one day after Bowman was arrested near the Capitol while participating in a voting rights protest. along with other protesters by Capitol Police, though police would not confirm to The Hill in a statement if the lawmaker was among those arrested.
The protest followed a stinging defeat for Senate Democrats after all 50 Senate Republicans and two Democrats - Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) - voted against changing the 60-vote filibuster rule for Democrats' voting rights legislation. The filibuster is considered a roadblock for Democrats, who are seeking to pass their priorities in an evenly divided Senate.
Ossoff and Collins clash over her past support for voting rights legislation .
Freshman Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), who has kept a low profile for much of his first year in office, spoke up Thursday evening on the Senate floor to challenge Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) over what he characterized as her evolving position on voting rights legislation. Ossoff, the youngest member of the Senate, made the bold move of tangling with Collins by suggesting she had flip-flopped on her support for the Voting Rights Act, an implication that Collins fiercely disputed as inaccurate in a tense back-and-forth between the two senators on the floor.