As hard it is to imagine after Tuesday night’s debacle, the Republicans and Democrats have come together to honor the long-standing Civil Rights Representative John Lewis. Three Democrats and one Republican have announced that they have come to a compromise on a bill many feared was dead.
In a bipartisanship effort, four senators compromised to create the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act on Tuesday : U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Their proposed bill moved to broaden the support of Representative Lewis’ bill, which was introduced in October. The senators indicated that this bill will replace the earlier bill, but “it stays true to the same bipartisan blueprint followed by Congress in each of the five times it has previously enacted legislation to update and reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
The senator from Alaska, Murkowsi, wrote in the press release that “Every American deserves equal opportunity to participate in our electoral system and political process:”
‘Voting rights are fundamental to our democracy and how we protect them defines us as a nation. I have supported this particular legislation in previous Congresses and continued to work with my colleagues on it, because it provides a framework through which legitimate voting rights issues can be tackled.’
‘This year, our bill incorporates the Native American Voting Rights Act, which addresses some of the long-standing obstacles that American Indians and Alaska Natives face. Every American deserves equal opportunity to participate in our electoral system and political process, and this bill provides a starting point as we seek broader bipartisan consensus on how best to ensure that.’
Senator Durbin pointed out that “there is no freedom more fundamental than the right to vote:”
‘In our nation, there is no freedom more fundamental than the right to vote. Yet over the past several years, there has been a sustained effort to chip away at this right.’
‘ I am pleased we have reached a bipartisan compromise to move forward on this legislation named after our late friend and colleague John Lewis, which will protect this ‘precious, almost sacred’ right. And I am hopeful that more Republicans will follow Senator Murkowski’s lead in defending every American’s access to the ballot box.’
And the man who has been having difficulty working with the House members, Senator Joe Manchin said that he was committed to “this bipartisan compromise that addresses the threats to voting rights across our nation:”
‘Ensuring our elections are fair, accessible and secure is essential to restoring the American people’s faith in our Democracy. That’s why my colleagues and I have come together to introduce the bipartisan John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Voting Rights Act has been bipartisan since 1965.’
‘I commend my friend and colleague Senator Lisa Murkowski for keeping that bipartisan tradition alive despite partisan efforts on both sides of the aisle to prevent that from happening.’
‘In the weeks and months ahead, I am committed to building support for this bipartisan compromise that addresses the threats to voting rights across our nation without infringing on states’ rights so that it can move through regular order with bipartisan support, just as it has done for the last 56 years.’
Senator Murkowski sent out the press release, which can be viewed on her Senate page. She tweeted this:
‘My statement on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.’
The full text of the compromise bill can be found here.
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