American Sustainable Business Council Applauds House Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Media Release

Washington, DC — The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) applauds the House passage of federal voting rights legislation, which will further protect our democracy. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) defends the most basic right in a democracy, the right to choose who will serve us in government, which has been under attack in dozens of states. The John Lewis VRAA restores protections first provided in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but which have been gutted by two recent Supreme Court decisions.

The free and fair markets on which business depends are threatened by the recent erosion of democratic fundamentals. Confidence in our institutions has eroded and in some cases the equal application of rules and laws for all is under threat to be replaced by arbitrary and capricious decisions made to advantage a limited few. This legislation helps correct that dangerous course.
“American Democracy is under attack in many states across the country,” said Jeffrey Hollender, Co-founder and CEO of ASBC. “Congress has a duty under Section 1 of the Constitution to protect every American’s right to vote, and this approval by the House is a good first step toward protecting our democracy, which is essential to a sustainable and just economy.

“Now the Senate must act, but the current Senate filibuster rules clearly stand in the way of final passage of the John Lewis VRAA, which is why ASBC was the first major business organization to call on the Senate to amend its rules so this critical legislation can’t be held up by a small minority,” said Hollender.

On behalf of the 250,000 businesses it represents, ASBC has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of both the For the People Act (S.1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. ASBC supports carving out an exception to the filibuster rules for Constitutional and voting rights issues. This change, strongly advocated by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), would require only a majority vote in the Senate for legislation on these designated issues to pass the chamber. Similar “carve outs” have been adopted to allow simple majority votes to confirm Presidential appointments to executive branch agencies and to the judiciary.

An alternative filibuster change supported by ASBC is to lower the number of votes needed to override the obstruction tactic, although ASBC does not take a position on what that lower number should be. ASBC has posted an urgent demand for filibuster reform on its website https://asbc.salsalabs.org/calloncongresstoreformthefilibuster.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy. We are a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBC and our association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.

We are coalition-focused in our approach to solving the pervasive and systemic issues of climate and energy, infrastructure, circular economy, and creating an inclusive stakeholder economy, all seen through the lens of racial equity and justice. We are changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people and the environment