Press Release ● Voting Rights
For Immediate Release: 
August 6, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965:

“Fifty-five years ago today, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law, bringing to fruition the goals of those who courageously marched with John Lewis in Selma and with Dr. King and so many others to Montgomery earlier that year.  It ended decades of legalized voter suppression that kept millions of African Americans from exercising their Constitutional right to a voice in our democracy.  However, in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down one of the VRA’s most important provisions as out-of-date, challenging Congress to take action to update the law and ensure that it can continue to protect against voter suppression in our country.  Astoundingly, Congressional Republicans, joined by President Trump, have worked since that ruling to prevent Congress from taking such action. The result has been a return of many of the same barriers to voting that led John Lewis, Dr. King, and their companions to march fifty-five years ago.

“House Democrats will never stop fighting to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act and expand voters’ access to the ballot box.  That’s why we passed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Terri Sewell to answer the Supreme Court’s call and create a new pre-clearance formula to prevent state and local governments from implementing restrictive voting rules. It’s also why we included some of the most wide-ranging voter protection enhancements ever passed in H.R. 1, the For the People Act, including automatic voter registration and expanded early voting and vote-by-mail. And it is why we included funding in the Heroes Act to ensure Americans can safely exercise their fundamental right to vote in the middle of a pandemic.

“As we remember John Lewis, I continue to urge Senate Republicans to take up and pass these bills and send them to the President’s desk. There is no greater monument we can build to honor the legacy of John Lewis than to take action to protect and defend every eligible voter’s access to the ballot box.”