Bustos Joins House Effort Demanding Action On Bipartisan Voting Rights Act

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), joined with Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn and 160 House colleagues in sending the following letter to the offices of House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.  The letter calls for action on H.R. 3899, the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act. 

This important bill would help restore critical voting protections for minorities, seniors, and students, and safeguard Americans’ most basic and fundamental right – the right to participate equally in our democracy by way of the ballot.

The letter is below.

The Honorable John A. Boehner                                                                            The Honorable Eric Cantor
Speaker of the House                                                                                             House Majority Leader
H-232 The Capitol                                                                                                 H-329 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515                                                                                         Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Chairman Goodlatte:

            In the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder last year, Chief Justice Roberts expressly acknowledged the persistence of voter discrimination and challenged Congress to formulate an updated coverage formula to protect against it.  H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act, is a bipartisan bill that would restore the safeguards of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in a manner consistent with the Shelby County decision.  Some of us believe the bill should be enacted in its current form, and some of us would prefer to see it amended.  But all of us stand united in our desire for the House to consider the issue in time for the entire Congress to work its will before the August district work period.

            In that spirit, we ask that the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing on this legislation and proceed toward a markup with full confidence that any legislation passed out of the committee will be considered on the House floor.  We stand ready to work with you to move the bipartisan bill to the floor expeditiously.  We are confident that a bipartisan bill passed by the House would be swiftly passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President. 

While we differ in our views on the ideal response to Shelby County, we all hope to join you in building on the bipartisan agreement that has been reached to ensure that, as President Ronald Reagan said, “no barrier will come between our citizens and the voting booth.”


James E. Clyburn
Robert C. Scott
Steve Cohen
John Dingell
Cedric Richmond
Judy Chu
Sheila Jackson Lee
G.K. Butterfield
Sanford D. Bishop Jr.
Theodore E. Deutch
Gwen Moore
Yvette D. Clarke
Jerrold Nadler
Elijah Cummings
Rubén Hinojosa
Sam Farr
John B. Larson
Charles B. Rangel
Dutch Ruppersberger
Juan Vargas
Henry Waxman
Carolyn Maloney
Robert Brady
Lloyd Doggett
James McGovern
Earl Blumenauer
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Eni F. H. Faleomavaega
George Miller
Marcia L. Fudge
Rosa L. DeLauro
Derek Kilmer
Mike Honda
Bobby L. Rush
Donna F. Edwards
Barbara Lee
Joyce Beatty
Janice Hahn
Joseph P. Kennedy, III
Ann McLane Kuster
James Moran
Wm. Lacy Clay
Robin Kelly
David Cicilline
Linda Sanchez
Terri A. Sewell
John A. Yarmuth
Luis Gutierrez
Sean Patrick Maloney
Jim Himes
Karen Bass
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Alcee L. Hastings
Bill Foster

Steny H. Hoyer
Ben R. Lujan
Sander Levin
Steve Israel
Julia Brownley
Keith Ellison
Paul D. Tonko
Denny Heck
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Frederica S. Wilson
Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Corrine Brown
Henry Cuellar
Joe Garcia
Adam Smith
Emanuel Cleaver
Jim Cooper
Niki Tsongas
Tony Cárdenas
Colleen Hanabusa
Katherine Clark
Steven Horsford
Ron Kind
Brian Higgins
Diana DeGette
Doris O. Matsui
Xavier Becerra
Cheri Bustos
Jared Polis
William Enyart
Jackie Speier
Allyson Y. Schwartz
Marc Veasey
Anna G. Eshoo
Rush Holt
Alan Lowenthal
Zoe Lofgren
Gene Green
Ed Perlmutter
John Tierney
Chris Van Hollen
Dina Titus
Mark Pocan
Nita Lowey
Albio Sires
Jan Schakowsky
Ron Barber
John Carney
Louise Slaughter
Hakeem Jeffries
John Delaney
Frank Pallone, Jr.
Gregory W. Meeks
Suzanne Bonamici

John Conyers Jr.
Raul Grijalva
Bruce L. Braley
André Carson
Chellie Pingree
Susan Davis
John P. Sarbanes
Nick Rahall
Elizabeth Esty
David Price
Adam Schiff
Jared Huffman
Ed Pastor
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Beto O'Rourke
Suzan DelBene
Danny K. Davis
Lois Capps
Lois Frankel
John Barrow
Brad Sherman
Peter Welch
José E. Serrano
Mark Takano
Madeleine Bordallo
Filemon Vela
Mike Quigley
Kathy Castor
Al Green
Scott Peters
Daniel Kildee
Eric Swalwell
Eliot Engel
Jim McDermott
Gerald E. Connolly
Tim Ryan
Matthew Cartwright
Kyrsten Sinema
Pete Gallego
Timothy Bishop
Jim Langevin
Pedro Pierluisi
Betty McCollum
Ami Bera
John Garamendi
Peter DeFazio
Rick Nolan
Gary Peters
Alan Grayson
Raul Ruiz
Mike Thompson
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Joseph Crowley