The U.S. House Approves John Lewis Voting Rights Act pushed by Texas House Democrats who fled Austin

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House on Tuesday voted to pass John Lewis’s Advancement of Voting Rights Act, which supporters say would restore critical sections of the voting rights law that recent Supreme Court rulings have overturned.

“It is an act to restore and extend voting protections, to prevent the suppression of voters, and to guarantee the most sacred of American rights: the right to vote freely, the right to vote fairly, and the right to count your vote”. President Joe Biden said Tuesday of the Democrat-driven measure in the Texas legislature. “The Chamber has acted. The Senate must also join them in sending this important bill to my desk. ”

After the 219-212 vote, the bill now goes to the Senate, where its fate is anything but true.

Several members of the Texas Congressional delegation, including representatives Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, Colin Allred, D-Dallas, Lizzie Fletcher, D-Houston and Al Green, D-Houston, expressed support, both on the ground and at press conferences throughout the day.

“Today I ask my Republican colleagues to reject the ‘Big Lie,’ to reject the insurrection, and to reject the idea that there is no suppression of voters,” Jackson Lee told the chamber. “I am with [the John Lewis Act]… This is a bill that must be passed by the Senate. Give the vote to the American people. “

“[Republicans] we know that his discriminatory bill would not survive fair legal scrutiny if the provisions on prior authorization established by [the John Lewis Act] are adopted, ”Veasey said, referring to the GOP’s divisive election bill that is currently being considered in the Republican-majority Texas legislature that Texas House Democrats broke the quorum twice in Austin to block it.

The John Lewis Act, introduced in the House by Representative Terri Sewell, D-Ala., Specifically addresses the 2013 Shelby County Supreme Court decision against incumbent, which stripped the 1965 Voting Rights Act of its section of pre-commission.

Prior to the Shelby decision, Texas and several other states had to obtain prior authorization from the Justice Department before making any changes to their election laws, a provision designed to eradicate Jim Crow-era voting discrimination. Now, in light of what Democrats see as Republican-level efforts to restrict access to the polls, the John Lewis Act seeks to restore precaution.

“This version of the bill includes a national pre-control rule, in which jurisdictions that make certain types of proposed changes to voting rules, such as the imposition of restrictive electoral identification requirements, reductions in polling stations or in hours … and changes in voter maintenance procedures registration lists may be subject to prior authorization, ”said Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas.

Democrats applauded the Voting Rights Act as a long-standing bipartisan effort, referring to the five times the law has been reauthorized in Congress since 1965. House leaders put their weight behind the bill. of law of John Lewis and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., not only he met with a group of Texas House Democrats still in Washington DC but he applauded them on the floor of the House for their efforts.

“I feel honored to have visitors: Texas state lawmakers fighting for the right to vote for people in their state and country,” Pelosi said. “We hear applause for these jeans.”

The John Lewis Act was one of two major bills that Texas House Democrats have pushed for passage in Congress since they broke the Texas legislature quorum and flew to Washington.

“We know we made a difference, even if it just sounded the alarm and made sure everyone understood that democracy is really online,” Texas State Representative Jasmine Crockett of Dallas said Tuesday . “We were the axes.”

Urging the passage of the bill, DeSoto Rep. Carl Sherman said, “Time is running out for democracy in Texas. The truth continues.”

Republicans denounce the John Lewis Act as nothing more than an attempt to take democratic power, arguing that it would be an unprecedented abuse of federal power.

“This legislation does nothing, nothing to advance the voting rights of our citizens, as my friends on the other side of the aisle claim,” Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga, said. “[The John Lewis Act] it is an unprecedented radical takeover of federal power over state elections under the guise of updating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ”.

Louie Gohmert, Texas Representative R-Tyler, urged his colleagues to “let states and local governments do the job the Constitution gave them” and vote against the bill.

“If I listened to the comments of my colleagues today, I would have thought that there was unbridled suppression of voters and an increase in racial discrimination in voting,” said Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Lubbock. “That’s not true. That’s just not true. And it’s divisive and I would suggest it’s dangerous for our country.”

For the group of Texas House Democrats who are still in Washington, they said they will continue to pressure the Senate to pass the John Lewis Act, specifically Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., who was hesitant to support a bill. law of voting rights before the Senate, the Law for the People.

“This has very quickly become the‘ John Lewis Joe Manchin Act ’when it comes to the Senate,” said state Rep. Richard Raymond de Laredo. “Our focus will be on someone we believe can bring the right to vote, without restrictions, across the country and that would be part of their legacy. That’s how we look at it.”

In a statement following the passage of the bill, state representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said they are “proud and grateful of our colleagues who returned to the Capitol for to be present at this very important moment “.

“The passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act marks a historic moment in our country’s history and is of monumental importance to all Texas voters, whose freedoms have been relentlessly attacked by Texas Republicans. for years, ”Turner said.

Representative Rafael Anchía of Dallas, president of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus, agreed and said in a statement: stop deliberate attacks on our democracy. “