House passed the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act which combines key elements of the House-passed John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Senate’s Freedom to Vote Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) voted today to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. This critical voting rights legislation combines key elements of the House-passed John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Senate’s Freedom to Vote Act.
“The January 6th Insurrection may have been quelled, but the assault on our democracy is alive,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “Across 19 states, Republican legislatures have enacted 33 voter suppression laws. Here in Congress, we have witnessed unanimous Republican obstruction against common sense, pro-democracy voter protections. When did protecting the right to vote become partisan? When it became about the powerful, not the people. We can’t sit on the sidelines while the most precious, sacred tool in our society is eroded. The question before us is simple, yet profound: Are you for the continuation of our democracy, or are you not?”
Over the last two sessions of Congress, House Democrats have twice passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act, to protect and expand voting rights, fight big money in politics, and end extreme partisan gerrymandering. They have also twice passed H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to block future voting restrictions imposed by states with disgraceful histories of discrimination.
Congressional rules prevent legislation that has been sent between the House and the Senate three times from being filibustered in the Senate when sent as a “message.” Today, House Democrats used this process to allow the Senate to proceed with debate on the legislation immediately without meeting a 60-vote supermajority threshold.
Footage of Assistant Speaker Clark speaking about voting rights on the House floor today can be found HERE.