Beginning Tuesday, the Senate will proceed to consider voting rights legislation for the first time in my Senate career.
Up until now, Republicans have blocked our ability to even consider voting rights—essentially a “gag rule” on this topic. But we have found a path to begin debate on the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act even over Republican opposition.
We are scrapping our traditional MLK recess to have this debate. So appropriate.
We will dig into the coordinated assault on voting—the attack of January 6 and efforts in many states to restrict voting and undermine electoral integrity.
We’ll discuss how our laws will require minimum standards for voting in federal elections, non-partisan redistricting in Congressional races, transparency of all campaign contributions.
And we’ll discuss Senate rules, including the filibuster and its sad history of being used to block civil rights laws.
I will discuss how Virginians in the 1950’s and 60’s holding the seat I now occupy used the filibuster to push Massive Resistance to civil rights laws.
And we’ll grapple with a fundamental question—what is more important, acting to protect our democracy or adhering to outdated Senate rules that have often been changed over time by both parties?
I believe it will be the most important week of my Senate career.

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More from @timkaine

13 Apr 21
I support the Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan by September 11th. As we approach the 20th year of the war—the longest in U.S. history—we should acknowledge what we achieved and be realistic about the challenges that remain:
Development outcomes in Afghanistan, including access to education for women, increased life expectancy, and access to electricity, have significantly improved. Additionally, Osama bin Laden is dead, and Al-Qaeda degraded.
As we maintain humanitarian and diplomatic support for a partner nation, we should continue to work with the UN and regional partners towards a peace deal for the security and prosperity of the Afghan people—and to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a haven for terrorists.
Read 5 tweets
7 Jan 21
The sun is up on a new day. But there must be accountability for yesterday:

The Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump. If he wants to challenge, Congress should vote him out.

Congress should inform Trump that he is not welcome at the inauguration.
Congress must also dig into the awful lack of security yesterday—praising those who performed heroically and holding accountable those who allowed the second attack on the Capitol in US history.
Law enforcement officials should investigate and, if warranted, punish insurrectionists. That includes citizen Trump, who loses all immunity on January 20th.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan 21
Tonight I spoke on the Senate floor about exactly what objecting to these electoral results means for our country:
After John Lewis was savagely beaten on Bloody Sunday, the US Senate came together to pass the Voting Rights Act.

We should be coming together today—after more violence—to affirm the votes cast in November. Instead we’re contemplating an unprecedented act of disenfranchisement.
If we object to these electoral results, we’re saying to states: No matter how safe and secure your elections are, we’ll gladly overturn them if we don't like the results.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jan 21
To Senators attempting to overturn state electoral results in states that voted for Biden/Harris:
Your challenge is dangerous—you are attempting to overthrow the government of the United States.
Your challenge is discriminatory—you are attempting a massive disenfranchisement of select voters in select states that voted for the Biden/Harris ticket.
Read 6 tweets
26 Oct 20
At 5am today, I spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court—a process that has shown just how deeply misplaced the priorities of the Senate GOP are in this moment.
We're facing the largest public health crisis in 100 years, the most significant economic collapse since the Great Depression, and the Senate has done nothing to provide relief for 6 months! This is inexcusable.
The GOP Senate majority abandoned their commitment to helping Americans through this emergency on September 18—the day that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. And since then, rushing Judge Barrett to confirmation has been all that matters to them.
Read 6 tweets
29 Jun 20
30 American servicemembers—including Virginians—were killed in Afghanistan in 2019 and 2020.
Now we’re hearing reports that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill Americans. And the White House reportedly knew, holding meetings about the explosive charge in March of this year.
Trump and his team are in panic mode. Trump suggests the report is a hoax. White House staff doesn’t deny the existence of the intelligence, but says Trump was never briefed on it. But the Administration reportedly did tell the British—so that British troops could be protected!
Read 5 tweets

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