Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) may be a newcomer to the U.S. Senate, but he is already causing a stir.
The 51-year-old first-time senator is speaking out against voter restrictions that several Republic politicians are instituting, mainly in Southern states.
“We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights and voter access unlike anything we have seen since the Jim Crow era,” Warnock said following Senate Democrats’ introduction of a sweeping election law overhaul, called the “For the People Act.”
“One person, one vote is being threatened right now,” Warnock said. “Politicians in my home state and all across America, in their craven lust for power, have launched a full-fledged assault on voting rights” and on “democracy itself.”
Warnock is the lead sponsor of the “For the People Act,” and it could override many of the restrictive measures that Republicans are pushing through at the state level, AP reported.
His historic senate win made Warnock the first African American from Georgia to win a U.S. Senate seat, and the 11th African American to serve in the Senate, The Conversation reported.
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Warnock has had plenty to say on the Senate floor. “I now hold the Senate seat where Herman E. Talmadge sat. And that’s why I love America,” he said.
He added, “Because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls in January and picked her youngest son to be a U.S. senator.”
Politicians should not just talk the talk but walk the walk, Warnock stressed. “It is a contradiction to say we must protect minority rights in the Senate while refusing to protect minority rights in society,” he said.
A Twitter user agreed. “Omg this needs to repeated over and over every day until the filibuster is gone. This man is wonderful”
Along with voting restrictions, Warnock is embroiled in another political controversy. A Warnock-sponsored covid-19 relief measure, Section 1005, offers “socially disadvantaged” farm owners total debt forgiveness. Most white farmers are left out, some critics say. The bill defines “socially disadvantaged” as racial groups who have faced historic discrimination.
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Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and a Republican, wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Post, “The bill is an affront to the American ideal of equal treatment under law — and a slap in the face for people who want everyone helped fairly.”