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Press Release

NEA President: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blocks Freedom to Vote Act

Our students are watching as politicians fail to protect democracy, stack the deck against them
Published: 10/20/2021 Last Updated: 10/20/2021

WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans blocked passage of The Freedom to Vote Act, a bill that would enable more voters to participate in our political system, establish common sense standards to reassure all Americans that their voices matter, and protect their right to vote.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:

“Most of us believe that our elected leaders should reflect the very best of every kind of American and govern for all of us, no exceptions. And protecting our democracy should transcend race, place, and political persuasion.

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans again have failed to protect our democracy by standing in the way of advancing The Freedom to Vote Act. As a middle school teacher of more than 30 years, I am struggling with how to explain their indefensible action to our students, who are watching as they try to restrict access to our democracy and stack the deck against them. We will not be silent. And we should not allow Senate procedure to stop critical legislation like this from passing.

“Educators teach all students – no matter their race or ZIP code – that voting is a responsibility of citizenship and a sacred right that we must protect for all Americans. We remain steadfast in our mission to make sure every American has full access to exercise their inalienable right to vote. Our students are depending on us to not rest until all Americans have their voices heard and can cast their ballots safely and freely.”

Follow on twitter at @NEAmedia and @BeckyPringle

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.