Joe Madison, host of SiriusXM hunger strike, urges Congress to put voting rights first
Madison’s comments come as Democrats, who have a majority in both houses of Congress and control the White House, have been pressured to pass voting reform legislation. But Senate Republicans, who hold 50 seats in the chamber, have repeatedly thwarted the legislation, and left-wing Democrats have increasingly called on their party’s senators to drop the rule. Senate votes required 60 votes to advance most pieces of legislation.
“As a political protest, I begin my hunger strike today by abstaining from any solid food until Congress passes it and President Biden signs it, the Freedom of Voting Act, or the Freedom of Voting Act. John Lewis Voting Rights Progress,” he said at the time.
The final result was 50 to 49 with GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting in favor of Democrats. At least 10 Republicans will need to join all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus for the legislation to develop.
Madison said when announcing the strike that he was more concerned with the future of his children and grandchildren than the negative health effects of the hunger strike.
“Just as food is necessary for the survival of life, voting is necessary for the survival of democracy,” Madison said.