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 John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE should pass and sign a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act if they wants to honor the life of Rep. John LewisJohn LewisMaxine Waters says Biden 'can't go home without a Black woman being VP' Georgia school lifts suspension of student who posted photos of crowded hall We must protect the right to vote, even today   MORE (D-Ga.), a civil rights era legend who died last week. 

“I think Trump and the Senate leadership, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal Pelosi, Schumer say White House declined T coronavirus deal COVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance 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 TapperJuan Williams: Keep the spotlight on Trump's COVID failure Chicago mayor: We can't let federal officials 'play police' in our city Coronavirus testing czar: Nobody on task force 'afraid to bring up anything' to Trump 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.