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.

In an interview on Friday with CNN’s Don Lemon, Madison, who is on a hunger strike for the 12th day, said there have been “physical challenges,” but added that he remains hopeful that “the senators, in their Thanksgiving break while they’re thinking about the richness of this country, that they reflect on what would happen if our voting rights weren’t protected.”
Madison announced her strike against radio program on November 8th.

“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.

Since January, at least 19 states enacted 33 laws According to an October analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice. The laws mark a new record for laws restricting voting since 2011 and many more bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, the center said.
In early November, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, aimed at combating voter suppression, was blocked by Republicans in the Senate when the Senate conducts a due process vote on whether to open debate on the law. The bill restores and updates key portions of the landmark Voting Rights Act, which was originally passed in 1965, and named in honor of civil rights icon and late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia .

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.


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