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McConnell: John Lewis voting rights bill 'unnecessary'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he doesn’t support legislation to strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act named after the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden to deliver remarks on voting access next week Schumer vows next steps after 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE (D-Ga.).

"There's no threat to the voting rights law. It's against the law to discriminate in voting based on race already. And so I think it's unnecessary," McConnell told reporters.

The senator, along with almost all of his GOP colleagues, did not co-sponsor the bill when it was introduced during the previous Congress.

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McConnell's remarks come as Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' MORE (D-W.Va.) is trying to rally Democrats to focus on the voting legislation instead of a broader bill known as the For the People Act that would revamp federal elections.

His comments underscore what Democrats have long acknowledged: A bill strengthening the 1965 voting law doesn’t have the 10 GOP votes needed to overcome a legislative filibuster.

The bill in the previous Congress had just one GOP co-sponsor, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP torpedoes election bill; infrastructure talks hit snag White House digs in as infrastructure talks stall Schumer vows next steps after 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE (Alaska), who reiterated on Tuesday that she supports it.

Congress last reauthorized the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006. But the Supreme Court in 2013 gutted the law when it struck down the formula for determining whether state and local governments were required to get Justice Department preclearance for voting and election changes, arguing that the provision was outdated.