Kamala Harris: ‘I’m Not Going to Absolve’ Any Senator for Voting Against Federalizing Elections

Vice President Kamala Harris pauses as she fills bags with produce, to answer a reporter's question about voting rights, at Martha's Table, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at Martha’s Table on Monday at a volunteer event in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, saying she will not forgive any senator who votes against legislation to federalize state and local elections.

As she bagged oranges and apples, Harris was asked what her message was to Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who opposed ending filibuster rules to get national voting rights bills passed in the Senate:

Vice President Kamala Harris fills bags with fruit and other items, at Martha's Table, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Vice President Kamala Harris fills bags with fruit and other items, at Martha’s Table, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Washington (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).

She replied:

As I’ve said before, there are 100 members of the United States Senate, and I’m not going to absolve, nor should any of us absolve, any member of the United States Senate from taking on a responsibility to follow through on the oath that they all took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Harris promised to “keep working” to build support for the bills, noting she was “making calls” and meeting with people.

“We’re not going to give up,” she said. “You’ve heard me say it before, and I mean it. This is too important.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised to hold votes on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act this week.

“However long it takes, but right now, we have bills before us. The United States Senate has the opportunity — I dare say the responsibility — to pass these bills through Congress so the president can sign them,” she continued.

The Senate is scheduled Tuesday to vote to end debate on legislation with a final vote on Wednesday to pass the bills.

The bills are likely to fail without a 60-vote majority supporting the legislation, as Schumer has promised to try to vote to end the filibuster rules.

But without support from Manchin and Sinema, who have both vowed to preserve the filibuster, that effort will fail.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., center, joined from left by, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., speaks to reporters just after a vote to start work on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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