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 Network (ASBN) is a partner to businesses and the investor community to bring collective wisdom and public policy solutions to the systemic issues negatively impacting our society and planet. Founded through the merger of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Social Venture Circle (SVC), ASBN rejects short-term thinking narrowly focused on just shareholder value in favor of a capitalism based on creating long-term value and being accountable to all stakeholders: owners, workers, families, community, environment, state, nation, and world. As a multi-issue, membership organization advocating on behalf of every business sector, size, and geography, ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.