Langevin Votes to Restore Critical Voting Rights Act Protections, Combat Nationwide GOP Voter Suppression

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today voted for H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, to restore key protections under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder and Brnovich v. DNC decisions. H.R. 4 will protect voters from racial discrimination and combat Republican attempts to enact voting restriction laws, which disproportionately impact young people, people of color, and elderly voters. H.R. 4 passed the House by a vote of 219-212.

“My friend John Lewis nearly died on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma while marching for voting rights 56 years ago,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “Although John is no longer with us, I’m proud to join my Democratic colleagues today in picking up his mantle and continuing the fight for voting rights. Republicans should be ashamed of their blatant efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters – House Democrats simply won’t stand for it.”

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act seeks to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Specifically, the bill will establish an updated formula for determining which states and localities must obtain federal pre-clearance before making changes to their voting laws, addressing concerns raised in the Shelby County v. Holder decision. It will also establish a targeted process for reviewing voting changes based on measures that have historically been used to discriminate against voters. The bill will address the June Brnovich v. DNC decision by eliminating the heightened standard created by the Court to challenge racially discriminatory laws under Section 2.

Rep. Langevin Statement on the House Vote to Advance Build Back Better Agenda

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, released a statement following House adoption of S. Con. Res. 14, which will begin the budget reconciliation process to advance a $3.5 trillion bill to invest in American workers:

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep cracks that have always existed in our care economy, and today, House Democrats have taken an important step in closing the gap and lifting up America’s working families. By advancing this budget resolution and creating a path forward for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, we are making good on our promise to the American people that help is here.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity before us to make transformative investments in common-sense policies that are widely supported by American families: community-based and at-home health care, universal Pre-K, paid family leave, hearing, vision, and dental coverage for Medicare recipients, the expanded Child Tax Credit, and so much more.

“I’m excited about what this bill will mean for Rhode Islanders, and I look forward to returning to Washington in September to pass this legislation and the bipartisan infrastructure bill for the American people.”

The 2022 budget resolution provides reconciliation instructions to 13 House and 12 Senate committees to advance Democrats’ plan to Build Back Better. It instructs these committees to report legislation consistent with these budgetary targets to the Budget Committee by September 15. The Budget Committee will then combine the legislation and prepare it for floor consideration.

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