Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined House and Senate Democrats today at a Speak Out on voting rights to announce the introduction of the Voting Rights Advancement Act. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you very much. Some years ago, when the Republicans were in charge of Congress, I sponsored the Help America Vote Act as a result of the challenge that we had in Florida, and the 5 people [who] elected the President of the United States, making the determination. That was in Bush v. Gore.
“In the Shelby case, the Supreme Court said everything is fine, we made a lot of progress. You know who doesn’t believe that? Jim Sensenbrenner, the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, when we passed the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. We have been fighting for, the Congress of the United States, over the last few years, after the Shelby Case, to do what the Supreme Court said to do. Pass a bill to make sure the Voting Rights Act works, consistent with the facts that we confront today.
“I am so extraordinarily proud to be standing here with, not only with, Terri Sewell, Selma’s favorite daughter, but also with Jim Clyburn and John Lewis and so many others who have fought for voting rights, risked their lives for voting rights, were injured badly for voting rights, as John Lewis was when he walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
“None of us are going to be injured, all we need to do is put our card in the slot and vote ‘aye’ to ensure that voting rights are protected for every American. Should we ask for any less in the world’s greatest democracy? Isn’t that what democracy is about? Making sure that all of can help to make decisions. How do we do that? We vote. If we’re allowed to vote, if we’re facilitated in our vote, if we’re welcome to vote, if we’re encouraged to vote, if we don’t have lines drawn to change our voting places and confuse us.
“Terri, I am so pleased to join you and John Lewis and Jim Clyburn and all these others, and Leader Pelosi, to whom I will now yield, in making sure that the Congress of the United States has in its possession a bill that will make America better by making sure that all of us, all of us, all of us are included in exercising our vote. That’s what America is about.”