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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 McConnellMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin MORE (R-Ky.) to honor the legacy of the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisGarland vows fight against voting limits that violate law Black Republican advocates his case for CBC membership Manchin insists he supports voting rights — we'll see 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 HarrisThe press has its own border problem Meghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration I visited the border and the vice president should too 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 WhitehouseOn The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden mission abroad: reward friends, constrain adversaries MORE (D-R.I.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenProgressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (D-Nev.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithTop union unveils national town hall strategy to push Biden's jobs plan Bipartisan agreement on need for better information about college costs To reverse the teaching shortage in low-income communities, give educators incentive to stay MORE (D-Minn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua Biden budget expands government's role in economy House narrowly approves .9B Capitol security bill after 'squad' drama 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.