Merkley to Join President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Visit to Georgia to Discuss the Importance of Protecting Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced today he will be traveling with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to Atlanta, Georgia to highlight the importance and urgency of passing voting rights legislation and protecting Americans’ sacred right to vote.

“This is a critical moment in the history of our democratic republic. The Senate will decide in the next week whether we will safeguard Americans’ freedom to vote or allow power to be seized against the will of the American people,” said Merkley. “Democracy doesn’t exist unless every citizen has the right to vote and have those votes counted. Today, that right is severely endangered for millions of Americans.

“When barriers to voting are targeted at specific groups of Americans—Black Americans, Native Americans, young voters and college students—it’s pure partisan manipulation and corrupts the election. It’s absolutely wrong. Everyone deserves the same chance to cast our ballots and know our vote will count. And certainly, partisan officials shouldn’t be able to toss out election results because they don’t like the voters’ choice.

“This Congress has the opportunity—and the responsibility—to make a powerful contribution to America’s legacy of ‘We the People’ governance, by stepping up and protecting Americans’ sacred votes and voices. We must guarantee that every American has the freedom to cast their ballot free of intimidation, obstruction, and voter suppression. Every American’s vote needs to count. Our country’s freedom and future depend on it.”

Merkley has been a leading voice in the Senate on both voting rights and reforming Senate rules to end the paralysis and gridlock of recent years and restore deliberation, debate, and negotiation. He will travel with the President and Vice President for a speech in Atlanta in which they are expected to forcefully make the case for the Senate to challenge the abuse of filibuster rules to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that the Senate will consider voting rights legislation—and Senate rules changes, if necessary—no later than January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.