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 McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) to honor the legacy of the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance More than 50 Confederate monuments have been removed since Floyd's death: report Trump rips Bill Maher as 'exhausted, gaunt and weak' 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 HarrisHarris to host virtual Hollywood campaign event co-chaired by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling Democrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations 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 WhitehouseSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks Liability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks MORE (D-R.I.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Democrats call for expedited hearing for Trump's public lands nominee Democrats call for McConnell to bring Voting Rights Act to floor in honor of Lewis MORE (D-Nev.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithTina Smith wins Democratic Senate primary in Minnesota The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate Poll: Tina Smith's lead over probable GOP challenger within margin of error in Minnesota Senate race MORE (D-Minn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism 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.