Joe Madison made a statement recommitting to his hunger strike and calling for Senate leadership to set a deadline on action. The statement is below.
“Today is the 31st day of my hunger strike for voting rights. I have experienced several physical changes as part of this action, not least of which is that I have lost 23 pounds in the last month. But I have vowed to abstain from solid food until the Senate reforms the filibuster, or passes the Freedom To Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This morning, I am recommitting to my effort.
Additionally, today I am calling on the leaders in Congress to describe their strategy for passing these bills. We know that the Senate can carve out the filibuster rule, which they just did for the debt limit. The right to vote is a non-partisan issue, and our democracy can’t wait. The United States Senate must pass these bills before the end of the year so they can take effect before the midterms in 2022.
Senators can consider this a Christmas present to the American people. And President Biden can sign the bill into law on Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.
Since the 2020 election, state legislatures across the country introduced at least 425 bills that would restrict voting rights. And dozens of these bills became law. Our people sacrificed much more than I have to gain our right to vote. We need to come together and take action now to protect that right before it is taken away.
The Senate has to act, and we all must come together to demand that action.
Just as food is essential to sustain life, the right to vote is necessary to sustain democracy.”