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Washington DC – Yesterday Senate Republicans prevented a final vote on the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act, a bill that will prevent election subversion and strengthen access to the ballot. Following the filibuster, the Senate attempted to change its rules to allow this bill to pass with a simple majority vote after the exhaustion of a “talking” filibuster. This vote failed as well.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendlegass, released the following statement.

“Republicans in the US Senate and in state houses throughout the country have decided that it is easier to shrink the electorate by erecting new barriers to the ballot than compete on the strength of their ideas. Throughout this debate Senate Republicans brazenly misrepresented the purpose of the Freedom to Vote: John R Lewis Act and downplayed the impact of new obstacles to the ballot in states like Georgia and Texas. Their refusal to act will reverberate for years, encouraging more states to enact harmful changes to their elections laws because federal safeguards have been weakened by the Supreme Court and Republicans will continue to prevent Congress from protecting our freedom to vote.”

“It’s unfortunate that Democratic leadership could not convince their entire caucus to support a narrow carve-out to Senate rules to allow this transformative bill to pass with a simple majority. Despite lofty rhetoric about the filibuster acting as bulwark against rash decisions, what it really does is ensure minority rule. The filibuster has been used to slow progress on civil and voting rights. It’s stopped the Congress from taking bold action to tackle the climate crisis. It lets a minority in the Senate prioritize corporate special interests like the oil and gas industry over the will of the people. The filibuster must be reformed or we will continue to fail to meet the moment on the biggest issues of our day.”

“While we’re frustrated by this obstruction, the fight to make our democracy work for all is far from over. We will not yield. We will redouble our efforts to engage people across the nation. We’ll mobilize clean water voters to make an impact during the midterms to elect leaders who will heed the will of the people and put our priorities first. We will do everything we can to out-organize and out-compete and we will make progress on voting rights, protecting our water, and tackling the climate crisis -- because there is no other option.”


Since the organization’s 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.

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