Maj. Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Introduction Of The New John Lewis Voting Advancement Act (sponsored and Introduced by Leahy)

Washington, D.C. (TUESDAY, Oct. 5, 2021) –  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the introduction of the new John Lewis Voting Advancement Act, legislation that, as a complement to the Freedom to Vote Act, would restore critical safeguards of the original Voting Rights Act. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Despite all we must do in the coming weeks, Senate Democrats remain strongly committed to advancing legislation in this chamber to protect the most precious right in our democracy: the right to vote.

Later today, my friend the Senator from Vermont, Senator Leahy, will introduce the new John Lewis Voting Advancement Act. I am a cosponsor and it is my intention in the coming weeks for the Senate to hold a vote on this bill.

As a complement of the Freedom to Vote Act, Senator Leahy’s bill would restore some of the most critical safeguards of the original Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in 2013.

Perhaps most importantly, this proposal would reinstate the so-called crown jewel of the Civil Rights movement: the VRA’s preclearance coverage formula, retailored for the 21st century. It would also adopt new provisions to address the next generation of suppressive voting, already sprouting in states, unfortunately, across the country.

Critically, this new bill also responds to the Court’s troubling ruling in the Brnovich case of earlier this year, a decision which further weakened the VRA’s protections against state practices that hinder minorities seeking to vote. 

I will have more to say on this later, but for now I want to thank my colleague from Vermont for his diligence and leadership in our fight to protect our democracy.

The Senate must act soon if we are to successfully defeat the anti-democracy forces of the far right.

And we will. We will do just that.