ATLANTA — Vice President Kamala Harris, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator and the youngest daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. each made passionate calls on Monday for passage of new federal voting rights laws at the annual remembrance for the slain civil rights leader, warning democracy hangs in the balance.
In tributes to King, they also called upon Americans to follow in his footsteps, to push lawmakers through nonviolent organization to pass voting rights legislation currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.
The speeches at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church are part of a pressure campaign to force Senate Democrats to relax filibuster rules to allow for approval of federal voting rights law to get around unified Republican opposition in the evenly divided chamber. Republicans call the legislation a gross overreach of federal authority and a partisan power grab.