On the anniversary of the January 6th United States Capitol insurrection, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) delivered remarks on the floor of the Senate in support of democracy and voting reform. Below are excerpts from his remarks.
"As we now reflect on these events a year later, we must understand [that] this attack on our democracy [was] larger than any one person, candidate, or election cycle The January 6th mob was fueled not only by the "Big Lie,' but the rise of authoritarian and nationalist movements that reject the basic principles of American democracy: equality, freedom, and the peaceful transfer of power
"So many were willing to believe lies about the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's victory because they had lost faith in the integrity of our democratic system. Some were even willing to engage in horrific violence because they believed elections could be stolen
"But we have a chance -- right now on the Senate floor -- to stand up to this anti-democratic movement and banish these discriminatory policies to the political dustbin. The Senate can and must take action to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. And we must abolish the filibuster -- if just for this issue -- to do so
"With the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act, we will not only guarantee that all Americans can exercise their right to vote in free and fair elections, we can also counter the distrust and disenchantment that the insurrectionists exploited on January 6th. These reforms can restore Americans' faith in the peaceful transfer of power and prevent another attempt at insurrection by ensuring we have a government that is truly of, by, and for the people."