Congressional Black Caucus Calls For Passing of Voting Rights Legislation

In Summary

The For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act both failed to pass in the Senate.  

Leaders with the Congressional Black Caucus held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to call for the Senate to pass voting rights legislation.  

“It is no secret or surprise to you today when we say the fierce urgency of now – voting rights,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty. “We are calling on the Senate to vote. We are calling on the Senate to have that debate because we want to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We want to pass the Freedom to Vote Act.”  

RELATED: Biden Strongly Pushes for Congress To Pass Voting Rights Bills  

Beatty joined President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Atlanta on Tuesday as they called for the passing of national voting rights legislation. She became emotional as she spoke about the need for voting rights and urged people to consider why voting legislation is being stalled by Republican leaders.  

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries called out Republican leaders who are holding up the passing of legislation. “The voter suppression epidemic that has been unleashed by the radical right is unacceptable, unreasonable, unfathomable, unconscionable and un-American,” he said. Jeffries also said they would work to pass legislation by “any means necessary,” including reforming the filibuster.  

RELATED: Kamala Harris: Democracy Is at Risk if US Can’t Pass Voting Rights 

The For the People Act passed the House in March 2021 but failed to pass in the Senate. In Nov. 2021, Senate Republicans rejected the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The bill needed 60 votes to pass but only garnered 51, BNC previously reported. The bill aimed to require jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to win prior approval from the Department of Justice or federal courts in Washington before changing their voting rules. 

RELATED: Obama Says Congress Has to Pass Voting Rights Legislation Before 2022 Midterm Elections  

The attack on voting rights began after former President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers falsely claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen. By mid-February 2021, 253 bills across 43 states were proposed to tighten access to voting. By May, the number rose to 389 bills in 48 states, according to The Washington Post.   

New laws in states like Texas now ban drive-thru voting, add limits to early voting, ban drop boxes for mail-in ballots and add new hurdles to the vote-by-mail process. Texas Democrats enacted a plan to block the bill and fled the state for weeks, risking arrest. Governor Greg Abbott then forced two special sessions to get the bill passed.  

Similar laws have been passed in other Republican-led states, including Georgia and Florida.  

This is a developing story. 

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