US Senate Sinks John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021

By IndraStra Global News Team

Colver Image Attribute: Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)
Colver Image Attribute: Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

By IndraStra Global News Team

On January 19, 2022, the US Senate voted 49-51 to block the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act from moving to a final passage vote. The voting rights bill would have made Election Day a national holiday and expanded early mail-in voting. The Senate also voted 48-52 against changing the filibuster rule to pass the voting rights bill with a simple majority as Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema voted against the move. 

On August 24, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a margin of 219–212. On November 3, 2021, the bill failed to pass the Senate after failing to get the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture. Earlier provisions in the bill have passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support five times, most recently 98-0 in 2006. 

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (H.R. 4) is proposed legislation that would restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, certain portions of which were struck down by two United States Supreme Court decisions of Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Particularly, it would restore the Voting Rights Act's requirement that certain states pre-clear certain changes to their voting laws with the federal government. It was re-introduced in the 117th Congress and is named after late Georgia Representative and voting rights activist John Lewis.

"I am profoundly disappointed that the Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed -- but I am not deterred," Biden said in a statement posted to social media immediately after the vote. He further added, "We will continue to advance necessary legislation and push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote."

The legislation would have guaranteed the right to mail-in voting, ballot drop boxes, and at least two weeks of early voting -- as well as making Election Day a national holiday. It also addressed "gerrymandering" -- the partisan trick of redrawing congressional districts in the ruling party's favor -- and would have required states with a history of discrimination to get federal clearance before changing election law. But all 50 Republicans voted against the reforms, arguing that restrictions such as limiting mail-in voting and insisting on voter identification were simply common sense.

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IndraStra Global: US Senate Sinks John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021
US Senate Sinks John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021
By IndraStra Global News Team
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