The remarks come as voting rights advocates have called for federal voting protections for years and as the Senate fails to act on two key pieces of legislation that would put those protections in place ahead of the midterm elections.
Some advocates, including Black Voters Matter co-founders Latosha Brown and Cliff Albright, opted to boycott the speech as they, and others say it’s time for more action and less talk.
“We’d rather that the President stayed in DC and perhaps delivered this speech to the Senate, to the Democratic Caucus,” Albright told CNN. “They meet every [week], he could’ve gone there and delivered the speech,” he added.
“At this point we don’t need another speech from the president. He gave a very passionate speech … last week … [and] back in July,” he said, “but then literally for seven months, we heard nothing from him about voting rights.”
Albright noted that advocates have been protesting outside the White House –– even getting arrested –– to call on Biden to do something about the threats to millions of voters’ access to the ballot, and argued that now is not the time to “use us as a prop.”
“What we need is work,” Albright added.
During the speech, Biden called out Georgia’s voter suppression law passed last year after the record voter turnout helped flipped the state blue.
The president gave passionate remarks about the historical push for voting rights, calling on the Senate to change filibuster rules to get the legislation passed. He addressed members who opposed the legislation so far, saying that history will remember their stance on the issue.
Check out his full remarks in the link above.