WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) joined Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (CA-33), and Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-7), Joe Morelle (NY-25), Jerry Nadler (NY-12), Steven Horsford (NV-4), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Judy Chu (CA-28), and John Sarbanes (MD-3) for a press conference on the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Below is a transcript of her remarks: 

“Thank you to Leader Jeffries and to all my colleagues who stand here and represent our entire Democratic Caucus. And a special thanks to Congresswoman Terri Sewell for leading the charge to preserve, to protect and defend our nation's greatest treasure: free and fair elections. And thank you to all my colleagues who are here to honor the legacy of our friend — this bill's legendary namesake — Congressman John Lewis.

“Congressman Lewis believed there is nothing more precious, no tool more powerful, than a freely cast ballot. But nearly six decades after he marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, extremists are still trying to take away that sacred right to vote.  

“Those anti-democratic forces believe their ideas are the only ones that matter. They only want to advance their ideology — strengthen their power at the expense of everyone else's. That's why they started the Big Lie. That's why they waged an insurrection on our Capitol. That's why they've introduced hundreds of voter suppression bills since January 6th. Because they believe the voting booth should only admit those who look and think like them. 

“If we want to preserve government by the people — if we want to defend all that Congressman Lewis fought for — we need to take action, now. Our right to vote wasn't handed to us. It wasn't freely granted. It was fought for in Birmingham and Atlanta, in Selma and Seneca Falls. 

“As Congressman Lewis put it: 'Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.' Now, it's time to do our part and get this bill to President Biden's desk.”

To view the complete press conference, click HERE. To view event photos, click HERE.

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