House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Republican state lawmakers Sunday, describing their efforts to pass and enact election integrity laws as a “continuation” of Jan. 6.
“There is nothing more important for us to do than protect our constitution and our democracy,” Pelosi said. “What the Republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on January 6, which is to undermine our democracy, to undermine the integrity of our elections, to undermine the voting power, which is the essence of democracy. So we have to do that bill. There is no more important bill that enables us to support and defend the constitution of the United States.”
Pelosi was speaking about the Freedom to Vote Act, introduced by Democrats in the wake of several election reform bills passed in Republican-controlled states after the 2020 election. It would make automatic voter registration the standard across the nation, give voting privileges to the incarcerated after they finish their sentences, make Election Day a national holiday and expand early and absentee voting.
Senate Republicans blocked the legislation four times in 2021, arguing that the legislation would infringe on the right of states to set their own election laws and unfairly benefit the Democratic Party.
Republican Secretary of the State of Georgia Brad Raffensperger defended Senate Republicans stating, “January 6 was terrible, but the response does not need to be eliminating photo I.D. and having same-day registration. If you don’t have the appropriate guardrails in place, then you’re not going to have voter confidence in the results.”
Pelosi insisted she was focused on passing this bill to “protect and defend the constitution and the voting rights.”
Accusing Republicans of not only “suppressing the vote but nullifying elections,” Pelosi continued, “this is a very major threat on our democracy. This legislation is the most important, and we have to keep working in order to get the job done because it is vital as any legislation we could ever pass,” she concluded.