Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference on GOP Attacks on the Right to Vote in Texas

June 15, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation and Democratic members of the Texas State Legislature for a press conference on protecting the right to vote for all Texans amid Republican-led efforts to advance harmful voter suppression legislation, highlighting the need for H.R. 1/S. 1, the For The People Act and the H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you.  I came to hear Chris and Senator Alvarado.

[Laughter]

I’m honored to be here with these American patriots, with their courage and their action, they have supported our democracy.  I wrote to my colleagues yesterday in the House to say that the clock was ticking on our democracy when it came to the sanctity of the vote. 

I thank Congressmen Veasey and Castro – Joaquin Castro for inviting our friends here today and for enabling me to hear their and be inspired by their story.  The whole country was inspired when it took place, but to hear the particulars of it and to be able to congratulate them.

So, I know we’re here with the – Chris Turner from the Lower – what do you call it?  The House, the State House –

[Laughter]

And Congress – Senator Alvarado from the State Senate, and the Chair of the Black Caucus, Nicole Carter – Collier, and Rafael [Anchía] –

[Laughter]  

Raphael Anchía, the Chair of the Mexican American Caucus, correct?  But all of them, each and every one of them, have been champions for our democracy.  Yvonne – where’s Yvonne?  Led the charge right? 

State Representative Yvonne Davis.  That’s what they say.   

[Laughter]

Speaker Pelosi.  But here’s the thing.  When we hear the story that they tell, it’s a sad story – that others in our country, who have a responsibility, take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, just do the opposite and undermine the rights of people to vote.  But their story is not unique.  It’s what’s happening across the country.  Nineteen states have legislation put forth to diminish the ability for people to vote by mail.  The list goes on, and so many things: twenty-seven states that have laws that make it harder to vote because of ID requirements, seventeen states expanding purges and eight states have bills to eliminate a facility to register, whether it’s same day or earlier voting. 

But in the Congress, we have the antidote to all of that.  In many cases – many of the specific cases, whether it’s assistance for voting or whether it’s vote-by-mail or many of the provisions in the Senate 7 – the Texas bill, are corrected by what is in H.R. 1.

But what is – they even go beyond, you know, talk about how they can overturn elections and get rid of poll workers who are there.  This is an all-out assault, an all-out assault.  I mean, they – it’s just really hard to understand how they could cook up so many various ways to come at a person’s right to vote, but they did.  And in H.R. 1, we have a correction for most of it, but not all. 

And then in H.R. 4., we go even further.  And when that bill is ready – because it must withstand the Constitutional review in an ironclad way because that Supreme Court was not friendly to the Voting Rights Act when it passed the Shelby decision, and so we have to be even stronger in how we do H.R. 4.  So that will take a few more weeks before we can get around to that bill.

In the meantime, H.R. 1 has protections in it that are very important for Texas.  And even some protections in lieu of the preclearance legislation that we’ll have in H.R. 4, more than you maybe want to hear about right now, but all of which [are] very important.    

When you think of the vision that our Founders had about our democracy, when you think about what our men and women in uniform do to protect our freedom, when you think of what we owe our children as they go into the future for this democracy, you know, that we cannot rest until we get the job done. 

And in this fight, we have – our country has not been better served than by the courage of our friends from Texas.  Their visit to the Capitol brings honor to the Capitol.  I’m pleased to welcome them and thank them for their courage and for their patriotism.   

With that, now I yield to the distinguished Chris Turner from – where? 

[Laughter]

There you are, Chris.  I’ll trade places with you.