[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 55 (Wednesday, March 24, 2021)]
[Page S1724]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       FOR THE PEOPLE ACT OF 2021

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, on one more issue, I was just over at the 
Rules Committee hearing. It is the first hearing I attended as majority 
leader because it was about S. 1, so important. And there, I showed--I 
showed my anger and frustration at what Republican legislatures are 
attempting to do throughout the country, take away people's right to 
vote, particularly people of color.
  You know, it has been more than 160 years since the 13th, 14th, and 
15th Amendments abolished slavery, but Jim Crow is still with us. When 
a State says you need a notary public to cast an absentee ballot, it is 
no different than asking African Americans to guess the number of 
jellybeans in the jar before they vote. It is certainly no different in 
intent to deprive them of their right, their constitutional right to 
  And here we have Republican Senators making excuses for these vicious 
and often bigoted deprivations of the right to vote. They say that this 
is a State issue. No, Congress has passed numerous laws dealing with 
Federal voting rights, and, in fact, the Constitution explicitly says 
that the Congress has the ability and right to do it. And yet 
Republicans who lost the election, instead of doing what we should be 
doing in a democracy--when you lose, you are supposed to figure out why 
you lost and win over the voters you didn't, but they would just 
deprive the voters who voted against them of the right to vote. That is 
eerily reminiscent of what dictators like Erdogan in Turkey or Orban in 
Hungary would do.
  Our Republican Party has sunk so low that they have a Republican 
leader who is over in the Rules Committee defending these actions by 
State legislatures.
  I asked him and all the Republicans to give us a reason. Why did the 
Georgia Legislature only pick Sundays to say there should be no early 
voting on Sunday? We know why. It is because that is the day African 
Americans vote in the ``souls to the polls'' operation, where they go 
from church to vote. It is despicable.
  Every time you think the country has moved a long way, you see steps 
taken backward. Let's make no mistake about it, the shadow of Donald 
Trump--his big lie, his incessant focus on doing anything that benefits 
him, no matter if it is the truth or not, if it is constitutional or 
not, if it is racist or not--has now fallen over this party, and they 
are not even standing up to protect the sacred right to vote.
  Shame, shame, shame on all of them. Shame. How can you defend these 
actions throughout legislatures, which the Washington Post said would 
amount to tens of millions of people losing their right to vote?
  Are we a democracy? Are we? The shadow of Donald Trump falls dark and 
large over this caucus when they act like that, and it happens far too 
often. We will not let this stand. We will not let this stand. S. 1 
will pass this body.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so