House Democrats are making big moves to build a foundation for the voting rights bill they so desperately want to pass before Republicans manage to take back majority control after next year’s elections.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her fellow Democrats took aim at the U.S. Supreme Court, passing a voting rights bill that “restores and strengthens parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were struck down in two recent Supreme Court decisions,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Pelosi’s bill, known as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, passed with the speaker’s razor-thin majority in the lower chamber, with a 219–212 vote. No House Republicans supported the measure.
The speaker dramatically described why House Democrats moved forward with the bill, saying they passed it “so that the Supreme Court of the United States cannot once again do violence as it did in Shelby County v. Holder and the most recent assault on Section 2.”
Pelosi added: “Any diminishment of the Voting Rights Act is a diminishment of our democracy.”
The bill, in part, was also passed as a countermeasure to a recent SCOTUS decision in favor of Republicans in Arizona who emerged victorious in the Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee case, which resulted in the high court’s findings that higher standards must be achieved for voting laws to be changed based on allegations that those laws are racially discriminatory.
At the crux of Pelosi’s bill, it will force states to seek “preclearance” from the Department of Justice before altering voting laws, which has been a trending practice in a number of Republican-led states that have passed such laws to protect the integrity of future elections in the wake of the 2020 election fiasco.
According to CBS News, Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues might be celebrating at the moment, but the bill, known as H.R. 4, will soon head to the U.S. Senate, where its passage is questionable given the amount of Republicans who oppose it.
Since it’s not a budget reconciliation bill, for the measure to pass, it would require every single Senate Democrat along with the support of 10 Republican senators, which many believe is a longshot, at best.
House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already described the House bill as “unnecessary,” and added that making such a bill into law would provide the DOJ with far too much power over how states pass future election laws.
Vice President Kamala Harris was one of many high-profile Democrats who celebrated the House’s passage of the bill, saying on Tuesday, “This important step represents progress, but there is more work to do. 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.”
It’s crystal clear at this point that Democrats are pulling out all of the tricks they possibly can while they still have control of Congress and the White House. Should Republicans take majority control of the lower chamber next year, which is widely expected, this bill will likely be one of the first to hit the bottom of the waste bin.