WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representative Sarbanes and Senator Klobuchar reintroduced the Freedom To Vote Act. In 2021, Senate Republicans used the filibuster rule to block a vote on the bill and are likely to use this procedural rule once again to prevent votes on the Freedom To Vote Act.
This bill seeks to increase safe, secure, and equitable voting access for all, especially those who have historically dealt with the highest barriers to voting, including communities of color, people with disabilities, and students. Additionally, this bill would rein in money in politics and shine a light on companies—especially the fossil fuel industry—that spend money to erode our democracy and undermine the will of the people.
As of February 2023, at least 32 states had pre-filed or introduced 150 restrictive voting and anti-democracy bills building on the wave of similar bills passed in recent years. The Freedom To Vote Act would help combat these attacks by providing common sense federal protections safeguarding our freedom to vote and strengthening our democracy.
Below is a joint statement from Clean Water Action, Climate Hawks Vote, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Greenpeace USA, Interfaith Power & Light, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice:
“Climate, environmental, environmental justice, and faith-based climate groups representing millions of members and activists applaud the introduction of the Freedom To Vote Act.
“Every American's freedom to choose the elected officials who best represent their values and principles is a fundamental creed written into our founding documents. While we recognize that our democracy has never truly worked for all Americans, the Freedom to Vote Act will help move us closer to the mountaintop, where every American has equitable access to the ballot, and a brighter light will shine on the fossil fuel billionaires and corporations who pour big money into anti-environmental politicians and misleading ads hampering our ability to combat the climate crisis.
“With the urgency of the climate crisis, it is more important than ever that we elect officials who will fight for the people—not the oil and gas industry. A fair and just democracy is vital to protect our environment, and the Freedom to Vote Act will be an essential, historic step in the right direction.
“We call on Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act as soon as possible, and we also call on President Biden to ensure agencies fully implement his Executive Order Promoting Access to Voting and to take every executive action possible to protect and expand the fundamental right to vote and strengthen the pillars of our democracy.”
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Learn more at cleanwater.org.