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Clyburn says if Trump wants to honor Lewis he should sign bill to restore Voting Rights Act

Clyburn says if Trump wants to honor Lewis he should sign bill to restore Voting Rights Act
© Bonnie Cash

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Senate Republicans and President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE should pass and sign a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act if they wants to honor the life of Rep. John LewisJohn LewisJoe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill Hundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation Pelosi urges Democrats to pass voting rights bills: 'The clock is ticking on our democracy' MORE (D-Ga.), a civil rights era legend who died last week. 

“I think Trump and the Senate leadership, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE ... if they so celebrate the heroism of this man, then let's go to work and pass that bill,” Clyburn said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to the bill the House passed in December that aims at restoring the Voting Rights Act. 

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He said the bill is laid out the way the Supreme Court “asked us to” in its 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision that invalidated a key portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

“If the president were to sign that, then I think that's what we will do to honor John. It should be the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020. That's the way to do it. Words may be powerful, but deeds are lasting,” Clyburn said. 

Lewis died Friday at the age of 80. He had revealed in late December that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

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Lewis has long pushed for voting rights. He spoke at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 and was badly beaten during a civil rights march two years later in Selma, Ala. 

Clyburn had a long friendship with Lewis. Both future lawmakers met decades before they were elected as they demonstrated during the civil rights movement. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperPolice investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Mississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid MORE asked Clyburn how his friendship with Lewis persevered for so long. 

“It had a lot to do with the common cause that we found in challenging the status quo,” Clyburn said. 

“John and I got to be fast friends, and it was sealed because our wives became such good friends,” he added.