The John Lewis Voting Rights Act is passed by the House Democrats.

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On Tuesday, House Democrats passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancements Act, which seeks to strengthen the federal government’s ability to challenge discriminatory election regulations.

The bill, which tries to amend the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which has been undermined by two Supreme Court decisions, was approved by a vote of 219-212 along party lines.

The bill, if signed into law, would restore the Justice Department’s ability to prevent certain areas with a history of voter discrimination from changing their voting rules, after the Supreme Court declared in 2013 that the manner used to enforce the provision was outmoded.

It would also expand the ability of minorities to challenge state laws they find to be discriminatory in response to a 6-3 Supreme Court decision to overturn the provision earlier this year.

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., who introduced the bill, said it is necessary to restore federal oversight as states are “running amok” by imposing restrictive voting laws in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

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“Old battles have become new again,” Sewell said, referring to discriminatory laws put in place during the civil rights era. “I want you to know that the modern day barriers to voting are no less pernicious than those literacy tests and those poll taxes.”

The bill is named after the late Congressman John Lewis, who Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday “dedicated his life to fighting for our nation’s highest ideals.”

“This important step represents progress, but there is more work to do,” Harris said in a statement. “The Senate must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act so it can become the law of the land and protect voters across the country.”

The bill received no Republican support in the House with Rep Rodney Davis, R-Ill., calling it a “partisan power grab, which circumvents the people to ensure one-party rule.”

It is expected to face opposition in the Senate, where Republicans blocked the more expansive For the People Act in a 50-50 vote in June.

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for Congress to pass both pieces of legislation.

“The House is acting. The Senate also has to join them to send this important bill to my desk, and the Senate has to move forward on the people’s act — critical legislation to protect our democracy and the right to vote,” said Biden. “We need both of those.”


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