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
Steny H. Hoyer
John Conyers Jr.