Rep. Veasey (TX-33) Condemns Texas State Legislature Advancing Discriminatory Jim Crow-Style Voter Suppression Laws
Rep. Veasey (TX-33), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, released the following statement today as the Texas Legislature prepares to hold public hearings on Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6—voter suppression legislation designed to undermine communities of color of their right to the ballot box:
“During the 2020 election, we saw Americans across the country brave a deadly pandemic and even risk their lives just to have the opportunity to make their voice heard at the ballot box. Just months after the 2020 election, we are seeing a dangerous trend in states across the country to discredit and silence the voices of these very voters by pushing dangerous Jim Crow-style voter suppression laws.
This week, state leaders in Texas climbed on the Jim Crow bandwagon with plans to advance HB6 and SB7—two bills that use falsehoods and misinformation about vote fraud to justify their intent to eviscerate the right of all Texans to have fair, equal, and legal access to the ballot.
These bills, if passed, will make voting harder and aim specifically to suppress minority voter turnout. They would undermine the ability of local election officials to encourage voter participation and they create new barriers for voters themselves.
Texas leaders appear hostile to the very notion of appealing to Texas Black, Hispanic, and other minority voters. Instead of working to improve policy or any service needed to keep Texans safe, they are following a familiar cheat-to-win path that uses discriminatory voter suppression to insulate them from the increasing voting strength of minority Texans.
Neither I nor any responsible Texan can stand for this. As a Black man representing one of the most diverse districts in Congress, I have used my position as an elected official and as a chairman of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus to ensure all Americans can exercise their right to safely vote.
Earlier this year, I joined my colleagues to pass the For the People Act (H.R.1), a sweeping anti-corruption package to protect voting rights, and in the upcoming months, I will join my colleagues in the House of Representatives to once again advance the John Lewis Voting Rights Restoration Act to finally restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act, after the disastrous 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder gutted key provisions that helped prevent voter disenfranchisement.
I implore my colleagues in the United States Senate to use every tool they can to swiftly pass these crucial voting rights measures so President Biden can sign them into law. It is clear there are state leaders willing to use discriminatory vote suppression in an attempt to hold onto their power.
It will take a responsible Congress now—just as it took sixty years ago with President Lyndon Johnson to enact protections for minorities—working with President Biden to turn back the discriminatory, vote suppressing, cheat-to-win efforts now underway in Texas and across the country."