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Harris pushes for expanded voting rights on MLK Day: 'We must not be complacent or complicit'

Kamala Harris
Posted at 7:55 AM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 12:07:25-05

Speaking from the White House on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the congregation formerly led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the national holiday commemorating what would be the civil rights leader's 93rd birthday.

Calling King a "prophet" that "saw the present exactly as it was and the future as it could be," Harris tied her remarks in with the Biden Administration's push for expanded voting rights.

"Today, our freedom to vote is under assault," Harris said.

Harris recalled King's 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery to push for the passage of the Voting Rights Act. She said the best way to follow King's legacy was to update the law to keep voting equity in place.

"If we stand idly by, our nation will pay the price for generations to come," Harris said. "...we must not be complacent or complicit. We must not give up and we must not give in."

Harris specifically called on the Senate "to do its job" and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. That law would attempt to end racial discrimination in Congressional redistricting.

In a proclamation issued by the White House last week, Biden again tied King's legacy with his administration's push to expand voting rights

"Living up to his legacy, and what Dr. King believed our Nation could become requires more than just reflection — it requires action," it read. "We must protect the hard-fought gains he helped achieve and continue his unfinished struggle."

Following her remarks on Monday, Harris and the second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, will attend a community service event in the D.C. area.