Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week

Senate will vote on John Lewis voting bill as soon as next week
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that he will force a vote on legislation to strengthen and expand the Voting Rights Act as soon as next week. 

The bill, the John LewisJohn LewisDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Obama, Dave Chappelle nominated in same Grammy category MORE Voting Rights Advancement Act, is named after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a longtime congressman and civil rights icon who died last year.  

"Republican obstruction is not a cause for throwing in the towel. As soon as next week, I'm prepared to bring the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act here to the floor. What we saw from Republicans today is not how the Senate is supposed to work," Schumer said from the Senate floor.  

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Schumer's comments came minutes after Republicans blocked a separate election bill, the Freedom to Vote Act, which would set national election standards, place new requirements for online ads and prevent partisan gerrymandering.  

The voting rights bill named after Lewis would update the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to strengthen sections of the 1965 law that were gutted by the Supreme Court's 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, which focused on Section 5 of the VRA that required Justice Department preclearance before some states could change voting laws, and the 2021 Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee decision, which advocates believe weakened Section 2 of the 1965 law focused on racially targeted voting policies.

But the bill will likely be filibustered by Senate Republicans, who can prevent it from getting the 60 votes needed to advance. 

Democrats introduced an updated version of the John Lewis bill earlier this month. But the bill is not supported by all 50 Democrats.  

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Joe Manchin should embrace paid leave — now MORE (D-W.Va.), who backed an earlier version of the bill, hasn't signed on as a co-sponsor. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiCongress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Alaska), who also supported an earlier version of the bill, hasn't signed on to the new legislation but has indicated that she's looking at it.