The United States will celebrate an important voting rights milestone later this week: Friday marks the 56th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law on Aug. 6, 1965.
Moreover, today marks 80 days since Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that “inaction is not an option” when it comes to reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act and that it is important for Congress to affirm a “commitment to free, accessible, and secure elections for all.”
To note this occasion, Issue One ReFormers Caucus Co-chairs Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) and Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN) issued the following statement urging Congress to renew its commitment to ensuring all Americans can freely and fairly cast their ballots in U.S. elections.
“I encourage my fellow Republicans to advance the cause of voting rights and find ways to support the legislative effort currently known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Historically, protecting voting rights has been done with strong bipartisan cooperation. John Lewis was an inspiration to all Americans, and I was honored to serve with him and to call him my friend. When I served in Congress, I, like many of my Republican colleagues, supported the last reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006. We did so with broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate, where the bill was passed unanimously 98-0. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin are right: Congress must act now to protect voting rights,” said former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN).
Added former Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN), who also served in Congress with Lewis: “I was always proud to call John Lewis my friend and colleague. For decades, the Voting Rights Act has helped prevent racial discrimination in voting. It’s time for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect every American’s sacred right to the ballot box. In America, your vote is your voice, and all citizens deserve the opportunity for their voices to be represented in government without having to overcome barriers to freely vote in elections.”