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Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis

Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis
© Bonnie Cash

Democratic senators called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) to honor the legacy of the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains Biden must look to executive action to fulfill vow to Black Americans The purposeful is political: Gen Z bowls over their doubters MORE (D-Ga.) on Sunday and allow the Voting Rights Act to the Senate floor to be passed.

In statements released on social media, Democrats including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Biden pledges to work with mayors MORE (Calif.) wrote that the bill should be renamed in honor of Lewis, a leader of the civil rights movement.

Originally passed to ensure that racial discrimination would not affect the rights of minorities to vote in the U.S., a section of the original act that forced particular jurisdictions, mostly in the South, to report any changes to voting laws to the Department of Justice was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. Democrats, including Lewis, have pushed for a bill imposing a similar restriction and allowing the Justice Department to appoint election observers to be passed by the Senate after it passed the Democratic-controlled House in 2019.

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"To honor John Lewis’ life and legacy, I’m calling on Mitch McConnell to immediately bring the Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate floor for a vote and the Senate should name it the John Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020," Harris tweeted.

Other senators including Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDurbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee GOP breaks with Trump firing of cyber chief: Adds to 'confusion and chaos' MORE (D-R.I.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost cybersecurity of local governments, small businesses MORE (D-Nev.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Democrats expand Senate map, putting GOP on defense MORE (D-Minn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDurbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee McConnell wants deal this week on fiscal 2021 spending figures MORE (D-Vt.) released similar statements through Twitter.

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Lewis died Friday at the age of 80 of pancreatic cancer. The veteran lawmaker and civil rights leader was memorialized by dozens of friends and colleagues on social media over the weekend, and many have called for the Edmund J. Pettus Bridge, on which Lewis was beaten severely by police during a 1965 civil rights march.