tv U.S. House of Representatives Voting Rights Debate CSPAN January 13, 2022 2:30pm-4:06pm EST
the senate amendment to h.r. 5746. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 5746, the freedom to vote john r. lewis act. as president biden made clear in his speech in atlanta on tuesday, the time to act to protect the right to vote and the very essence of our democracy is now. and the bill we are considering today meets the gravity of this moment. h.r. 5746, mr. speaker, combines two -- two pieces of legislation vital to ensuring every american has free, equity and secure access to the ballot. the freedom to vote act and the john r. lewis voting rights advancement act. the latter of which critically also includes the native american voting rights act. together, mr. speaker, these bills will combat the wave of voter suppression laws we see enacted in states all across the
country following the supreme court's decision in shelby county vs. holder, a decision that undermine the essential preclearance protections of the voting rights act. actions which accelerated at an alarming rate following the unprecedented voter turnout in the 2020 elections. rather than responding to increased voter participation with welcoming arms and pro-voter policies, states have instead been enacting laws that roll back access and aim to erect roadblocks to the ballot box. despite a 2020 election that election security experts said was the most secure in american history, according to the brennan center for justice, 19 states -- 19 states have enacted 34 restrictive voting laws in the last 12 months. the time, mr. speaker, to act is now. voter suppression and discrimination are alive and well. it is our duty and firmly within
our constitutional powers as a congress to protect the rights of the voter and ensure equal access to the franchise. this bill, mr. speaker, does just that. it sets nationwide standards for access to early voting. it promotes voter registration through automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration and online voter registration. it gives all voter access to no excuse absentee voting, protects the security of our election infrastructure and our precious election workers. it addresses the rising threat of election subversion, puts an end to partisan gerrymandering, curbs dark money flooding our politics. yes, it restores the critical protections of the 1965 voting rights act and it protects the right to vote for native american voters. we must -- we must set an example as a democracy and encourage, mr. speaker, we must
encourage, rather than suppress, voter participation in our electoral process. this legislation is critical, it is so critical to protecting our democracy. i ask both republicans and democrats to support this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i thank you, mr. speaker. this bill, which was originally about nasa and went through the science and technology committee has seen more than 700 pages of election law tacked onto it late last night. if it were to become law it would give up $7.2 million of public funding to the campaign of each one of my colleagues. all of us. this is not about voting rights. this is about power and control. $7.2 million is more money than most americans can even dream of having. yet, here we are considering another democrat bill that takes public funding and doesn't give it to the american people but
puts it in the campaign coffers of members of congress. members who vote for this bill are voting to line their own campaign coffers all while falsely telling the american people we have a voting rights crisis in this country and we must pass this bill because the era of jim crow 2.0 is upon us. it's the definition of corruption. thankfully, the american people don't seem to be buying the democrats' rhetoric. according to polling, more americans, including independents, believe voting laws are too lax and insecure than those who believe are too restrictive. no matter how many times a president and democrats get in front of the american people, trying to manufacture a voting rights crisis in this country by using rhetoric like jim crow 2.0 are now comparing republicans to bull conner, as president biden suggested this week in georgia. there is no evidence of widespread voter suppression.
in our meetings in the house administration committee, no one has ever produced a single voter who was eligible to vote but wasn't able to. in fact, 2020 saw the highest voter turnout in 120 years. according to pew, 94% of americans say it's easy to vote. misrepresenting and in some cases flat out lying about the law -- to increase voter confidence is part of the democrats' playbook to manufacture a voting rights crisis. in fact, president biden has earned four pinocchios about georgia's voting laws. these laws -- the laws these states are passing to bolster voter confidence make it easier to vote than ever before while protecting the integrity of our elections. georgia's new, quote, voter suppression law, has more days of early in-person voting than new york. and texas' quote, voter suppression law, ends pandemic exceptions like universal drive-thru voting and 24-hour
voting. neither existed in texas before 2020. neither widely exists even in blue states. and i think most of us can agree that nothing good can come from 24-hour drive-thru voting. the bill we're considering today is not about increasing voting rights for the american people -- and this is not a compromise. this bill still contains the worst provisions of h.r. 1. it still publicly funds a member's campaign. it nationalizes and centralizes our election system. makes merrick garland the election czar. it destroys the first amendment. it prevents states from implementing strict voter i.d. laws. despite the majority of americans supporting voter i.d. laws. and the list goes on and on. as terrible as those provisions are, nothing screams this bill isn't for the american people more than the fact that it gives
every one of us, every member of congress and their own campaigns up to $7.2 million in public funding. the old saying is, follow the money. i think that's incredibly relevant here. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, the chairman of the house democratic caucus, mr. jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. jeffries: mr. speaker, we are here today defending our democracy for one reason and one reason alone. it's because the radical right has decided that the only way they can consistently win elections is to engage in massive voter suppression. the right to vote is sacred. the right to vote is special. the right to vote is sacrisanct. there are people who died, lost their lives, shed blood to make sure that black people and
everyone in america could vote. we're not going backward. we're only going to go forward. you better back up off of us. we will pass the john robert lewis voting rights enhancement act and we will get it to joe biden's desk and we will end the era of voter suppression in america once and for all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: democracy -- ending democracy $7.2 million at a time. mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin and member of the house administration committee, representative steil. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. steil: thank you very much. mr. speaker, the democrats are up to the same tricks, protecting text of this legislation last night for a vote in the morning. they want to gut key voter integrity provisions and they want to bust the senate's
filibuster process while they do it. it's important to understand the most key and egregious provisions in this bill. let me highlight the top four. this bill guts voter i.d. laws. and the irony shouldn't be lost. these are the same democrats that want to show an i.d. and vaccine card to be able to have dinner in cities like washington, d.c., and new york. this bill puts federal dollars into politician' re-election campaigns. i heard a lot of complaints about elections in my time. i never had one person tell me, our elections don't have enough money. . this bill restricts state's ability to maintain voter rolls. so we know who is eligible to vote. this bill mandates that ballots can be counted seven days after the end of the election. delaying the final results. delaying the final results does not instill confidence in our elections.
instead, by working to remove key voter integrity provisions in our elections, americans will have less confidence in their elections. my priority is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. this bill fails that test and i urge my colleagues to vote no. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from massachusetts, our assistant speaker, ms. clark. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. clark: mr. speaker, the january 6 insurrection may have been quelled by the assault on our democracy is alive. across 19 states republican legislatures have enacted 33 voter suppression laws. here in congress we have witnessed unanimous republican obstruction against commonsense pro-democracy voter protections. early voting, vote by mail, election day as a federal holiday. when did protecting the right to vote become partisan? when it became about the
powerful and not the people. we can't sit on the sidelines while the most precious sacred tool in our democracy is eroded. the question before us is simple and yet profound. are you for the continuation of our democracy or are you not? thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield a minute and a half to my good friend from oklahoma, ranking member on the science, space, and technology committee, mr. lucas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: i rise in strong opposition to this federal takeover of elections. i am disappointed that the bill underlying has been gutted. a bill that was crafted in a bipartisan practical way to address the surplus resources at nasa to generate resources for the agency. i would say this to my friends in the majority. i served in the minority he and majority several times back and forth. i ask you, why are you trying so hard to make me a chairman
again? we pass a bill today to allow another body to pontificate, they'll not be able to pass anything. you will inflame your base because you can't do anything. you will inflame my base because you are trying to make dramatic changes. why are you trying to make it so easy for me to be a chairman again? i guess i should thank you, and i would, except for things like this missed opportunity to re-authorize this important piece of legislation for nasa. when we have committees like science, space, and technology that work together, that work in a productive way, that can persuade the majority of this body to pass their legislation, we should allow the legislative process to work. thank you, my friends. i look forward to the next session. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reminded to refer your remarks to the chair. the gentleman reserves.
the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from georgia, my friend, ms. williams. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. williams: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to share the words of my constituent, yolanda king that i received this morning. i'm 13 years old and the only grandchild of dr. martin luther king jr. and coretta scott king. when i was just 5 years old in 2013, the supreme court undid the voting rights act that my grandparents and so many in their generation fought and died for. when i was 12 in 2021, the supreme court further weakened the law until there is almost nothing left. states like my home state of georgia were ready and waiting. they immediately passed laws to make it harder for people to vote, make it impossible to protect elections, and even criminalize the act of passing out food and water to people waiting in long lines. that means i and my peers have fewer rights today than we had the day we were born. i can only imagine what my
grandparents would say about that. we must pass federal voting rights legislation now to ensure democracy for all americans. we cannot wait. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: can i do a time check with my favorite timekeeper up there. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentleman has 24 minutes. the gentleman from north carolina has 24. mr. davis: i would like to yield a minute and a half to my good friend from new york, ms. tenney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. tenney: it's groundhog day again on the house floor. yet again our democratic colleagues continue to gas light the american he people by claiming despite record turnout in recent elections, republicans are scheming to steal the scaik red right to vote from our fellow citizens. what is their solution to the problem? which they assure you is very real. it just so happens to be a partisan federal takeover of elections that empowers un-elected bureaucrats in
washington to oversee local elections and overturn popular voting protection laws. that is not democracy. that is a violation of our constitution. the freedom to vote, the john r. lewis voting act, which deceitfully added to a nasa leasing authorities bill in the dead of the night, is the transparent attempt to diminish the voting power of law-abiding american citizens. madam speaker, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are right about one thing. democracy and the principle of one citizen, one vote are, indeed, being threatened. the democrats are cynically championing this effort in spite of the fact that the democratic voters in new york state, a highly blue democratic state, rejected the very provisions in the john lewis voting rights act by a substantial margin in a referendum vote just this past election. with every attempt to allow noncitizens to vote and with each push to ban commonsense voter identification laws,
democrats in congress and in places like new york city attack and erode the election integrity. however, this -- by the way, article 1, section 4 of the u.s. constitution clearly states and protects the rights of our states to determine voting laws and practices. however, the legislation before us today would force upon the nation a laundry list of damaging federal policies creating a chaos and insecurity in our elections making it easier to cheat and overriding basic election integrity measures. this is -- this assault must be stopped. i urge my colleagues to vote no on this misguided legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from michigan, the second vice chair of the congressional blackhawks, congresswoman brenda lawrence. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lawrence: thank you. today i stand here on the shoulders of my grandmother and my grandfather who migrated to
the north from the south. who took me every election day dressed up and educated me every step of the way to understand the power of the right to vote. she was denied the right to vote. it is heartbreaking that this bill that's been passed time and time again is now a political ploy. we know that the freedoms and the rights of america is based and bred from voting rights. i stand here today in support of passing this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, can i ask unanimous consent to insert into the record committee on house administration republicans elections clause report. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. davis: i'd like to take this time to yield a minute and a half to my good friend from mississippi, mr. palazzo. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized. mr. palazzo: mr. speaker, today i rise in opposition to h.r. 5746. late last night the democrats high jacked a bipartisan piece of legislation that i helped draft to allow nasa to lease property and help fund their own budget shortfalls. this bill would have been vital to america's space program and mississippi's fourth district. to no one's surprise, democrat socialists hellbent on minimizing the power american votes have jammed through their radical agenda to include this so-called voting rights legislation. this legislation only does one thing. it ensures the democrats remain in power by tipping the scales, by limiting your first amendment, and slashing states' rights. why else would the democrats spend so much time catering to noncitizens, giving them taxpayer benefits, allowing them to stay in our contory, and now giving them the ability to unconstitutionally vote in american elections? democrats believe that behind every illegal immigrant is a democrat voter only waiting for
a bill like this to pass. this legislation shreds our founding documents and bastardizes the sacred rights of americans. only to appease a group of socialists. we all know that democrats need every advantage to give them any hope in november after seeing their commander in chief's gross incompetence in tanking approval ratings. they have the slimmest house majority in history, and even split in the senate, stalemate the by a fuel democrats who refuse to bow to the demands of the socialist agenda. democrats know the american people reject their ridiculous policies, and we cannot allow them to cheat their way back into power with this bill. i strongly urge my colleagues to vote no on this high jack bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from florida, the dean of the florida delegation, ms. wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. let's be clear about what is happening here. we are at a crossroads. free and fair elections are essential to keeping this
fragile democracy intact. the american people must hear this loud and clear. there are people in power that don't want you to vote and they are using every tool in their toolbox to make it harder. my fellow americans, can you not afford to sleep on this. people in power and with influence are actively trying to takeway your right to vote. america must confront this harsh reality. they are tunneling voter rolls, making voter registration more difficult, and cracking down on vote by mail while we remain in the midst of a pandemic. voter suppression has not been assigned to the history books, it continues today right here, right now. the impact continues to fall disproportionately on communities of color. these policies are being actively pursued all over the country in places like my home state of florida where the governor wants to create a voting police force to intimidate voters. we must not allow those who seek to consolidate power and put thumb on the scales of the democratic process to succeed. our friends in the senate must stand up for democracy and restore government of, by, and for the people.
i urge my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. caves: -- mr. davis: i yield one minute to my good friend from the state of wisconsin, congressman tiffany. mr. testify any: -- mr. tiffany: the majority is attempting to high jack a bill related to nasa to promote voter fraud and invalidate state voter i.d. laws. that's not all. they want to institutionalize ballot harvesting schemes, mandate the use of unverifiable ballots and pour public dollars into the campaigns of wealthy many candidates. democrats will raise the treshtriry to pay for their ads. that's the beginning. a few days ago new york city adopted a policy allowing noncitizens to vote. effectively legalizing foreign election interference. you can bet this will stretch to minneapolis, milwaukee, and
madison. in that respect perhaps it is fitting that the majority has chosen a nasa bill to advance their cynical agenda and pave the way for alien voting. this is one giant leap backwards for american election integrity. and if the majority actually thinks this bill is the solution to what's ailing america, houston, we have a problem. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the author of the four the people act, mr. sarbanes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sarbanes: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, out in the country the voices of the people is diminished by voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, and election subversion. here in washington the voice of the people is diminished by big money, insiders, lobbyists who use their influence to block progress on so many of the things that americans care about. but we can do something about this. the freedom to vote, john r. lewis act, will ensure free and fair access to the ballot box
with expanded registration opportunities and the broad availability of early voting and vote by mail. something that voters of both political parties took advantage of in the last election. it will ban partisan gerrymandering so the congressional districts are drawn fairly and with respect for the people. it will prevent the arbitrary removal of local election officials from their positions and it will protect election officials from harassment and intimidation. it will pull dark money out of the shadows in order to combat the corrupting influence on our democracy and it will make meaningful investments in efforts led by the state to strengthen and fortify their electoral infrastructure. too many americans have become cynical about our politics and they are angry. but there is hope in that anger because it means they still care. they still believe in american democracy. they cherish it. in november, 2020150 million americans overcame tremendous obstacles to get to the ballot box, to pull our democracy back
from the brink. the question now is will we do our part? as their elective representatives, will we show our love for this great republic is equal to theirs. will we exercise the right to vote that we have in this chamber in order to protect the right of every american to vote in their local library, or their firehouse, or senior center. the answer must be yes. . we look to whatever we can to secure the passage in the chamber. success is too high. failure is not an option. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a report from common cause that's titled "maryland general assembly approves gerrymander congressional map." the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. davis: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, my good friend, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: i thank my friend.
i thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 5746, which contains the text of h.r. 4, the so-called john lewis voting advancement act. with h.r. 4, democrats are attempting to orchestrate a radical and unprecedented power grab overstate elections. but the history here is so important. upon its enactment in 1965, the j.r.a. -- v.r.a. addressed oppressive state resistance to remove discriminatory barriers that prevented minorities an exercise to vote. the u.s. supreme court's shelby county v. holder decision recognized an obvious fact when examining the voting rights act. things have changed dramatically since 1965. of course, that should be celebrated. the court reasoned that requiring states to preclear election law changes today based
on conduct a half century ago was an unconstitutional invasion into state sovereignty. republicans are thrilled the v.r.a. worked. the truth is more americans, minority communities are voting now than ever before. and overall, voter registration remains sky high. in fact, voter registration disparities between minority and nonminority voters in states like texas, florida, mississippi, louisiana, are below the national average. and get this, lower than democrat-run states like california, new york, and delaware. however, democrats would have you think exactly the opposite. they want to bring preclearance back through h.r. 4 and have all the states seek approval from merrick garland's justice department before they can make any changes to their election laws or redistricting, regardless of whether that jurisdiction has a history of discrimination or not. again, this is a blatant federal power grab. these bills are contrary to the founder's intent. the plain text of the constitution, and if they're
fully implemented, they'll erode americans' faith in our constitution. we urge a no vote today. i yield back to my friend and thank you for the time. mr. davis: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from ohio, the chair of the congressional black caucus, mrs. joyce beatty. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. beatty: thank you, mr. speaker. desperate attempt, hijacking our voting rights, that is exactly what our republican colleagues are doing. and why? because when democrats vote, democrats win, and we provide for our children, our families, and our businesses. i stand here today in support of the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act of 2022 because black people representing the congressional black caucus have been attacked by dogs, have put their lives on the line, crossed
the edmund pettus bridge for us to have a right to vote. america, watch what's happening today. watch what our republicans are trying to do -- take away your fundamental right to vote. let us restore our democracy. let's stand up for what four republican presidents in the past did. they re-authorized the voting rights. they are scared and they are hijacking americans' rights. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, you can tell it must be nfl playoffs. we got our super bowl champion from the oakland raiders, my good friend, mr. owens, who's going to get two minutes of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. owens: late yesterday afternoon, my republican colleagues and i learned the democrats were dropping h.r. 1 and h.r. 4 into a supposed to be a nasa bill. the american people joined me
and wonder why they must resort to procedural gimmicks to ram their so-called voting rights bill to the floor. democrats are out of touch with americans who repeatedly rejected the biden administration's far-left agenda, including the latest attempt to destroy the power of the states to run their own elections. unfortunately, we're hearing the same message today that we heard over and over again from the democrats, that minority americans are not smart enough, not educated enough, and are incapable of following basic rules in elections. i'm personally offended by this narrative. earlier this year, the democrats -- said democrats held a hearing titled jim crow 2021. the latest assault on the right to vote. compared to voting laws in georgia to the days of segregation. i grew up during the era of actual jim crow laws that suppressed voting. what does actual voting suppression look like? it looks like poll tax, property
tax, literacy tax, violence and intimidation at the polls. it looks like segregated schools i attended in florida or drinking fountains that my race was forced to use. one section of the georgia law that brought so much outrage to the left simply requires everyone applying for an absentee ballot to include evidence of a government-issued i.d. on their application. i can assure you, my friends, minorities are capable of getting driver's licenses, passports, government checks, any other number of acceptable i.d.'s. today's misnamed for the people's act won't fool americans who have not forgotten how far we've come since 1965 and how sacred their constitutional right to vote. i ask my colleagues to join me in rejecting this latest attempt to remove power from the people in the states that best represent them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, who serves on the committee of house administration and the committee on the judiciary,
ms. mary gay scanlon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. scanlon: mr. speaker, i'm proud to help bring this bill to the floor and to push for its consideration in the senate. pennsylvania and philadelphia, which i represent, is the birthplace of our democratic republic. it's now ground zero in the battle for the soul of our nation. a decade ago when the last redistricting occurred, the pennsylvania legislature launched an attack on election rights which have only escalated over the years. voters had to battle in school to get fair districts and overturn discriminatory voter i.d. laws that threaten to disenfranchise more than half a million eligible pennsylvania voters. in the last two years, we've seen these threats multiply. as the former president and his far-right allies have tried over and over again to make it harder to vote and to throw out the legal votes of pennsylvania eligible voters. this bill is not a takeover of state elections. it's a response to attempts by state legislatures, like
pennsylvania, to make it harder for americans to express their most essential freedom -- voting -- by exercising our duty under article 1, section 4 of the constitution, to protect that right. i urge all my colleagues, no matter what party, to support this legislation, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, i don't trust my folks over here with time as much as i do my good friend. can you give us a time check? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina has 18 minutes. mr. davis: i'd like to now yield 2 1/2 minutes to the ranking member from the house judicial committee, my good friend, mr. jordan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jordan: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, the democrats have objected to counting the presidential electors every single time this century of republicans been elected president. they spent time overturning the presidential campaign.
they spied on an presidential campaign. they did an impeachment based on a whistleblower whose identity that only congressman schiff got to know. they closed the capitol, enabled proxy voting, kicked members off committees. denied republicans on a committee that was chosen by the minority leader. they are trying to make d.c. a state, end the electoral college, pack the supreme court, take federal control of elections. currently allowing in jurisdictions illegal aliens to vote. finally, the january 6 committee has altered evidence and lied to the american people about it. somehow they tell us it's president trump and democrats who are under -- republicans undermining democracy. actually think we should show a photo i.d. to vote? in one year's time, while democrats are doing all that, they have given us record crime, record inflation, record illegal immigration. as bad as that is it's not the
worst. how they used the virus to attack our freedoms. how they used the virus to attack our freedoms. they use the virus to attack our liberties even though everything they told us about the virus has been wrong. they told us it didn't come from a lab. they told us it wasn't gain of function research. they told us it was only 15 days to slow the spread. they told us masks works. they said there would never be a vaccine mandate. people that get vaccinated can't get the virus, transmit the virus and they said there is no such thing as natural immunity. think about this. think about this. at the same time, democrats require you to put on a mask, show your papers, and an i.d., to get a big mac at mcdonald's. they don't want -- they want to allow the federal government to stop states from requiring a photo i.d. to vote. this is ridiculous. vote no on this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman's time has expired. mr. davis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: i now yield one minute to the gentlewoman from texas, my friend who serves on the committee on the judiciary, congresswoman sylvia garcia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. garcia: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support for the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act. our democracy is built on the sacred principle that every american, every american has an equal and fair right to vote. but states like my home state of texas are imposing laws that are already limiting that very sacred right. between bills like s.b. 1 and extreme gerrymandering, the voices of many texans are being diluted and silenced, especially latinos. we cannot let this stand. it is our responsibility, our duty to protect voting rights for every american, no matter what zip code they live in or
what language they speak. the freedom to vote act will do just that for latinos and for all americans. by banning partisan gerrymandering, restoring the voting rights act, and creating new protections for voters, we will ensure every american makes their voice heard. mi voto, my voice. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: at this time i'd like to yield a minute and a half to my good friend, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meuser. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. meuser: mr. speaker, i thank my good friend, mr. davis of illinois. mr. speaker, democrats have a scheme to take over elections and it has taken a very disturbing turn. the federal takeover of elections bill is masking as a noncontroversial -- what was a noncontroversial nasa bill. state legislatures determine the time, place, manner of elections, period. voter participation,
mr. speaker, over the past 20 years has enormously increased. it's well over 70% at this point because states have implemented policies assuring easy access while maintaining voter integrity for the best of their ability. nevertheless, they want a federal takeover of all elections. this plan legalizes ballot harvesting nationwide. bans voter i.d. laws. you hear that? prohibits the ask for an i.d. to vote. somehow that is in the interest of our election integrity. i don't think so. it allows noncitizens to vote, mr. speaker. it imposes new mandates on all precincts, regardless of their size or resource. perhaps more egregiously, they want to provide millions in taxpayer fund for campaigns. under this taxpayer scheme, the american taxpayer would give our speaker of the house $22 million, $44 million, a whooping
$44 million to senate majority leader chuck schumer for his campaign. americans can't get covid tests, hospitals are being overwhelmed, businesses can't find workers. this is the focus, to blow up the senate filibuster and seize control of all elections -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. meuser: let's vote no. mr. davis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentleman from the commonwealth of virginia, my friend, don beyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. beyer: mr. speaker, i rise in robust support of the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act. i believe this is the most important bill we will ever vote on. this is a bill that saves our democracy. the most fundamental idea of our exceptional nation is that people have the right to choose their leaders. we made slow progress over the centuries. african-americans, native americans, women, 18-year-olds. this will finally establish the basic fundamental right --
voting rights for all americans. with this act, we stand against efforts to have voting rules in favor of the few and take our essential democratic privilege away from all americans. that has inspired humanity for centuries and now a nasa bill becomes the vehicle to save our democracy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: at this time, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend from the state of florida, mr. donaldson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. donaldson: mr. speaker, i think it's important as we have this debate on a bill that was dropped last night with provisions that have gone through this chamber before which, frankly, have gone nowhere in the senate, it's important to understand for the context of this discussion that i actually represent a preclearance county. i lived in one for 20 years.
preclearance was subject to preclearance in 1965. under the voting rights act. since i lived there the last 20 years, there has been no evidence whatsoever that collier county should continue to be subject to preclearance. so much so the supreme court agreed and decided that it was no longer needed to do preclearance in the united states. because the evidence did not subject it. but what this bill seeks to do is unleash preclearance across the entire united states with no evidence for it being needed. the evidence that did exist in 1965. i represent such a county today. something tells me that in 1965 i wouldn't represent that county then at that time. i do today. the evidence is clear. there is no reason to unleash preclearance on the united states. no need at all. the other provisions of the 1965 voting rights act still exist today and will continue to exist. the preclearance provision is no longer needed.
so what is this really about? this is really about making sure that politicians have direct control over how elections are going to be administered in the several states, which by the way is a violation of the united states constitution. voting laws are supposed to be enacted by state legislatures not here in congress. that is the way the constitution is written. i think this is a bad bill. we should not be doing this let alone funding, doing public financing on federal elections? why would we ever want to do anything like that? we have more than enough money in our elections. we seem to spend billions of dollars every cycle doing this stuff. we want more? we want to take it from the taxpayers? time the gentleman's time has expired. mr. donltdz: vote no on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentleman from maryland, the
distinguished democratic whip, my friend, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i am old enough to have grown up and become cognizant of public affairs in the plate 1950's and early 1960's. it's ironic that today i'm hearing the language of interposition, of states' rights. there are a lot of states' rights in the 1950's and 1940's and the 1960's. john lewis will tell you those states' rights kept people from voting. from participating. from playing a role. now we have legislation before us that will ensure as the voting rights act of 1965
assured, that people would not be shut out by states' rights. by people who want to keep certain other people from voting and participating in their states' elections, in their counties' elections, in their municipal election, in their city election. i have heard a lot about states' rights. i'm old enough to have heard about what states' rights meant. they meant don't butt in. to assure that every united states citizen, one nation, under god, indissable -- divisible. but we were divisible and we were divisible by color and by other arbitrary and unjustified distinctions. so we are here today to say that
is not america. that is not one nation, under god, indissible. indissable. so, yes, all the states will be covered. because we want all states to comply. and they will not have a thing to worry about under this legislation if they have not had violations within the 20-year period. madam speaker -- mr. speaker, on monday we'll mark what would have been dr. martin luther king jr.'s 93rd birthday. when he was born in 1929, it had only been nine years, just nine years from the date of his birth that women were given the opportunity to vote in america.
how sad it took us so long. when he was born in 1929, it had only been nine years since the 19th amendment had been passed. and it had only been 64 years since the amendments ending slavery and ostensibly guaranteeing the right to vote for african-americans. but that constitutional amendment was not honored. and ways and means were found to prevent people from voting. from registering. so, yes, the supreme court passed a decision in shelby vs. holder. shelby in alabama, a county that had discriminated greatly and was greating at that point in time. as soon as the -- discriminating at that point in time. as soon as the supreme court said this is no longer necessary, we saw a cascade of
new laws to restrict access to the ballot box. a cascade. when dr. king was born neither african-american men or african-american women could cast ballots and participate in our democracy in many states. and jurisdictions. north and south. before he was killed, at just 39 years of age, dr. king led a movement to correct the injustices that had come about because for so long many americans had no recourse to participate in our democracy or pursue opportunities equally because their states felt they had the right to discriminate. that's what state rights were in my generation. apparently the concept still exists. that that is the right, the right to vote is the guarantee
to all others. dr. king joined by other giants of the civil rights movement, including our dear friend and brother, my, my, my, g.k. and i were saying just how sad we are that john lewis is not on this floor. who gave blood and almost his life, but lived his life to assure that every american had the right to vote and was facilitated in that right. dr. king joined by other giants of the civil rights movement, including our friend and brother, john lewis, used the tools of nonviolent peaceful protests in organizing to expose the hypocrisy of a system that called itself a democracy but did not allow all of its citizens to share in electing leaders.
each year on martin luther king jr.'s birthday, americans reflect on the lessons of his life and civil rights movement as though they formed a chapter in america's past. would that they mirrored simply the past, mr. speaker, but if we look around us today there can be no doubt the fight for our democracy is very much a part of our present. this is a radical bill that will allow a process in the united states senate that's a failing practice. the majority will rule on kuwaiting -- debating this bill. the majority. isn't that a radical, radical proposal that the majority of the senate that is for this bill. when people get up and say this bill can't pass, the only reason it can't pass is because the minority will stop it. if they can. i hope they can't. i hope they change their rules. i am an opponent of the filibuster. it is undemocratic.
and as hamilton said, it poisons democracy. the right to vote has not been so endangered since dr. king walked among us. but there is a remedy. it's not perfect. but it will go a long way toward returning back the tide of voter suppression and protecting the fundamental right to vote. one nation, under god, indissable -- indivisable. it represents the most boldest and consequential voting rights reforms in a generation. i was a sponsor of the help america note act. it was called then a very consequential bill. it was not nearly as consequential as this bill will be in empowering every person eligible to vote. by the way, every citizen from my perspective to vote. so there is no mischaracterization of my view. i want to thank chairman nadler, representative sewell,
representative sarbanes, chairwoman beatty, and the entire congressional blackhawks and literally00 of -- black caucus, and literally hundreds of members who through the years have ought fought to protect this sacred right. in addition to providing for automatic online and same day voter registration, the freedom to vote act will take -- make election day a federal holiday. a holy day, if you will. in the pursuit of our secular commitment to democracy. it will guarantee at least 15 gays of early -- days of early voting. isn't that terrible. it must be terrible because many states throughout the country are cutting those days down. why? i don't know. if you vote on tuesday as opposed to thursday is there more fraud involved? i don't know. it will guarantee those days and two weekends while ending
requirements for difficult to obtain photo i.d. it doesn't eliminate i.d. it states have i.d. it cost not eliminate that. importantly, this legislation will restore voting rights to those who paid their death debt to society and ensure those who cast eligible ballots profiguressally in the wrong precincts will still have their votes counted. as a sponsor of the help america vote act in 2002, that provision was in the federal law. this bill would limit partisan gerrymandering and remove the corrosive influence of dark money. my mother used to tell me krt source. if the money is dark and you don't know who is paying the bill for the talk that's being given, you can't make that judgment. you can't determine who the source is. when it comes to defending the integrity of our elections and democracy, this legislation is absolutely needed in america. not only will it prohibit the removal of election officials without cause, which is
happening because the president calls up and says can't you find some more votes? that was the asking of some elected official, secretary of state of georgia, to commit a crime. talk about fraud in elections. also critical this legislation will shore up the u.s. election assistance commission created under the help america vote act. it will enable the e.a.c. to provide state and local boards of election with grants to upgrade outdated voting equipment and protect against hackers and cyber threats. it wasn't until 2003 that the federal government paid part of the election costs incurred in electing federal officials. also restoring the full force of the 65 voting rights act whichs are undermined by shelby vs.
holder. applying it to every state, not discrimination, if you break the law in any state, if you preclude people from legitimately voting in any state, you are covered under this legislation. we don't pick out any actor. every state is included. we apply it to every state and updating it for the 21st century, the freedom to vote act has the power to restore trust that our elections are fair and every eligible voter will be ablele to participate. will be able to participate. house democrats have passed voting rights measures multiple times. this congress sending both h.r. 1 and h.r. 4 to the senate. the majority's for it. but the filibuster stops it. the minority controls the majority. madison said that was not democracy. now the senate must act. i urge senators to come together on monday and approve this historic voting rights
legislation for our time. we have the opportunity, i share g.k. butterfield's sadness that john lewis is not on this floor to cast his vote. very frankly i would have yielded all the time i have taken to john lewis to talk to us about how important this legislation is. . to accomplish an america where no person would be shut out of the ballot box. in future years, i hope people can celebrate martin luther king day reflecting, not only how our country overcame jim crow, but how we presented the return in 2022. we heard this is not jim crow. no matter how subtle the discrimination may be, it is direction. cast your vote -- it is
discrimination. cast your vote for this bill today, ladies and gentlemen, so the citizens can cast their vote without hindrance and share equally in the making of our laws and in the shaping of our future. vote yes. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, i now yield two minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman. and i -- in the lengthy oration of one minute from the majority leader, i agreed with one word, this is a radical bill. and the majority leader's argument is a baby -- throwing the baby out with the bath water argument. the states in this country remain bulwark -- a bulwark of democracy. they say it won't live without their bill.
this is nothing like a late night gut and replace in congress. a bill with nasa has this added. nothing like giving them i.d. laws. 74% of the people favor them. people in my state voted to put it in our state constitution. most believe elections should be made more secure. nothing speaks more of preserving our democracy than shifting the power to said election law from 50 decentralized states where legislatures controlled by different parties have held that power for all 233 years of our experience under the constitution and centralizing that power in the single agency, the department of justice, at any time controlled by one party. nothing speaks of preserving our democracy like abandoning historic parliamentary norms to accomplish this radical
transformation with bare majorities in both houses of congress with without -- without one vote from the minority party. democrats may continue gerrymandering in illinois and maryland with abandon, but they assure if you put all the control of elections into their hand in washington, they'll save democracy for you. it calls to mind the iconic vietnam-era phrase, we had to burn the village to save it. america, that's democrats' message to you. they will burn your democracy to the ground in order to save it. and they can't let anything stop this from getting it done before they face your verdict this november. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you, mr. speaker. i would ask my friend from north carolina to refer to the bill, the section that refers to voter i.d. it simply says, this bill sets uniform national standards for states that choose to require
identification to vote. at this time, mr. speaker, it is my pleasure to yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house of representatives, ms. pelosi of california. the speaker pro tempore: the honorable gentlewoman is recognized. the speaker: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and for his leadership. mr. speaker, today our nation faces the most dangerous assault on the vote since jim crow. last year alone, more than 440 draconian voter restrictions were introdeuced across 49 -- introduced across 49 states, several enacting 34 measures into law. this legislation seeks not only to suppress access to the ballot but empowers states to nullify election results entirely. that's what the legislation that i reference across the country. this sinister campaign is particularly targeted
communities of color. as the house committee on house administration proved in last summer's report, partisan forces are accelerating a sinister campaign to silent the voices of color in particular. there are four things, just four things i want people to know about the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act. four things to remember and one observation. the four reasons why every member should vote for this bill today. first, it ends shameful voter suppression and election subversion, which lets local officials simply choose winners and losers based on their own political interest. nullification of election. vote no on that. secondly, it ends partisan gerrymandering so that the restricting -- redistricting process will meet the standards
of the constitution, of the voting rights act, and keep communities of interest together. ending partisan gerrymandering. one. and stopping voter suppression and voter -- election nullification. two. ending partisan gerrymandering. it ends big, dark special interest money which is suffocating the airwaves with misrepresentations which does also suppress the voices of the american people. get rid of big dark money. people can still give their dark money but they have to disclose it. so that the public knows. and fourth, it -- this legislation empowers the grassroots by rewarding their participation in our democracy, amplifying their voice and yes, yes, with the power of matching their small dollar
contributions. hear this. there are no taxpayer dollars involved in that. no matter what you might hear them misrepresent. no taxpayer dollars. so four things. end voter suppression, election nullification, end partisan gerrymandering, end dark money suppressing the system and, four, reward the grassroots. that is in the freedom to vote act. in the john lewis act, which is part of what we're voting on today, i just want to be clear. the voting rights act has been strongly bipartisan. indeed, republican presidents nixon, ford, reagan, george herbert walker bush, and george w. bush, who signed the most recent voting rights act, which received 390 votes in the house,
unanimous in the senate, signed by george w. bush. bipartisan. and four times the congress has re-authorized the voting rights act in a bipartisan way. this is the first time we have the assault on that. i'm very, very proud of the house of representatives, mr. speaker, because we have twice passed for the people act, which is what the protect our vote is, and the john lewis voting advancement act, even before he passed, we passed it once. the house has made clear, we stand with the people in the fight for voting rights. i do want to, again, in closing, commend you, mr. butterfield, for your leadership on all of this. going around the country.
john sarbanes, the author of our for the people act. terri sewell, the author frt voting rights act. zoe lofgren. mr. nadler, chair of the judicial committee. and also want to acknowledge the work of jim mcgovern, chair of the rules committee, who brought these bills to the floor time and time again. it is a day when democrats will once again take a strong step to defend our democracy as we send the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act to the senate for urgent consideration. nothing less is at stake than our democracy. with that, i urge a strong bipartisan aye vote on this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: mr. speaker, at this time, i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend, the
gentleman from wisconsin, mr. fitzgerald. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fitzgerald: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in objection to 5746, which is the latest attempt by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to ignore the 10th amendment and dump on the state legislatures of this nation. basically telling them, you're incompetent. not to mention the clerks. democrats first tried to barge through the front door of legislation with h.r. 1. after that failed, they tried on the back door functions and this bill represents a full-blown takeover. the supposedly slimmed down bill would still override state laws by creating a federal right to no excuse mail-in voting and require states to accept late arriving ballots as long as they have timely postmarks. it's kind of a joke. it would automatically give felons the right to vote. great. it would overright state voter i.d. requirements. listen, only a few months ago,
mr. speaker, many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle argued that it suppressed voter turnout. only to flip-flop once they saw the public overwhelmingly supports proof of identity before casting a ballot. 80% in some states. i'm proud to have implemented strong voter i.d. laws during my time in the wisconsin legislature. unfortunately, leading up to the 2020 election, i saw these protections steam rolled under the guise of the pandemic. let's talk about the supreme court. in 2013, the decision recognized -- a decision recognized that we are no longer living in the jim crow era. the original voters rights act worked. and preclearance is no longer required. allegations that election integrity measures that have been adopted by states, such as texas and georgia, don't amount to anything close to jim co-era restriction -- jim crow era
restrictions and is a slap in the face to those who endured real discrimination. there is no voting rights crisis. this is not about ensuring access to the polls. this is about taking power from the state legislatures and concentrating -- concentrated in our electoral systems. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to the distinguished democratic whip, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn, who has led the way in this house and in the south for generations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. clyburn: thank you very much. i thank my friend, the gentleman from north carolina, for yielding me this time. mr. speaker, i rise to urge passage of this legislation, carrying the freedom to vote act and the john r. lewis voting rights advancement act to the senate for immediate consideration. to safeguard our most
fundamental constitutional right -- the right to vote. we took an oath to protect this country from all threats, foreign and domestic. today, we face a domestic threat from those seeking to gain and hold power by suppressing votes and nullifying election results. congress must combat this threat by ensuring equal and unencurvent -- unincumbent to the ballot box and ensuring an accurate vote count. it is time to choose. will we uphold our oath and protect this fragile democracy? or will we subvert the
constitution and fetter the franchise? i want to remind the previous speaker that we did not have jim crow before there was jim crow. and we did not have jim crow -- we had it until 1954. i used to teach this stuff called history, and i will say to my colleagues. anything that's happened before can happen again. it was the lack of the vote that had 95 years between george washington murray, who was the last african-american to represent south carolina here in this body until i came along in 1992. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. clyburn: because the right to vote was taken away. and the results were nullified.
we are not going back. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i'd like to reserve at this time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. . mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, at this time i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from maryland, a coveted member of the house committee on administration, my friend, jamie raskin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. raskin: thank you very much, mr. floor leader. our colleagues object to guaranteeing the people's right to vote through the vehicle of a nasa bill of all things. a quarter century ago republicans changed texas state law to permit astronauts to vote absentee from space. they want to make it easier to vote from space and harder to vote on earth. in the last election, tens of thousands of citizens in texas waited in line for six hours to vote. and the astronaut on the international space station could have orbited planet earth
four times in the six hours that texas forced some of its citizens to wait in line to vote. across the country it's voter suppression, g.o.p. gerrymandering of our districts, right wing court packaging -- packing and deployment of the filibuster to block voting rights legislation. the whole matrix of g.o.p. democracy suppression today. it's time to project the right to vote here on earth. if it takes a nasa bill to do it, i invite my g.o.p. colleagues to boldly go where none of them have ever gone before, to planet earth on a mission to defending the voting rights of the people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: although it seems like, mr. speaker, i'm going to go where no man's ever gone before, that's to call mr. lauder milk from georgia, my good friend. he's recognized for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes.
mr. loudermilk: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today obviously in strong opposition to this latest attempts by my colleagues on the other side to enact a federal takeover of elections. and continue their tactics that they have used consistently in this congress and last congress to hide the intent of what they are doing. make no mistake, this legislation is an attempt to circumvent this state legislature's constitutional authority to set election laws. laws like the ones passed in georgia that maximizes voter access and protects the integrity of every legal ballot. one size fits all government has never worked in a diverse and free society like we have here in the united states of america. one sides fits all is synonymous with dictatorial regimes, socialist societies, and communist countries. governments that keep control over the people by stripping the authority from the lands of local officials that were elected by the people to represent them.
this is what this bill does. be clear, the goal of strong central governments, strong federal governments is to have a home genius society that is easily controlled. easily controlled. our society is diverse. diversity of thought, diversity of action, diversity of speech. but the actions of my colleagues on the other side is to have a home genius -- home genius society where it's not determined by conviction or faith but what the federal government determined is right or wrong. you don't have to look further of how the right to determine your own health care has been stripped away by my colleagues on the other side. where people can no longer determine what they will and will not put into their body. the constitution protects the ideas of individual liberty and federalism to where government is strongest at the local level.
this bill disregards state voter i.d.'s and one thing i want to bring up is homogenous when it comes to campaign elections. mr. davis: yield 15 seconds. mr. loudermilk: i appreciate the gentleman here. we live in an independent diverse society. where local governments are the greatest authority over the people. this is a takeover by the federal government to create a society where everyone acts, thinks, and works according to the federal government. oppose this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: mr. speaker, at this time i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, the distinguished vice chair of the house democratic caucus, and i might say a member of the election subcommittee of which i have the honor to chair,
mr. aguilar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. aguilar: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman for yielding. i rise today in support of the freedom to vote john r. lewis act. legislation that would protect the right to vote and strengthen our democracy. this week we heard president biden travel to the home of our late colleague john lewis, rally the nation around the need to protect and expand the right to vote. today we will pass this legislation in honor of john's name. but in order to honor our colleague, we must make good on our commitment. we must pass this legislation in both chambers without delay. we must also make clear as president biden did this week that there is nothing more important, no rules or procedures than the health of our democracy. there is far too much at stake to let tradition get in the way of real progress. i know from my work on the committee and the select committee investigating the attack on the u.s. capitol that the concerns about the future of the american system, the consent of the governed, with are
well-founded. mr. speaker, every member of this body has a choice today and the world will remember where we stood. i am proud to stand on the side of democracy, on the side of making it easier to vote. not more difficult. and on the side of the people. because the american people are with us. this is not a democratic issue or republican issue. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and pass this legislation. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. defensives: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time it is my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from alabama, my dear friend and the sponsor of the john r. lewis voting rights advancement act, ms. terri sewell of selma, alabama. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. sewell: mr. speaker, as you know voting rights is personal to me. it was in my hometown in 1965 on a bridge in selma, alabama, where john lewis and the foot soldiers shed blood for the equal right of all americans to
vote. 56 years later, old battles have become new again and state legislatures erect direct barriers to the ballot box. 400 bills introduced, 34 passed in 19 states. once again our nation is at an inflection point. today the house of representatives will once again send voting rights over to the senate and it must pass, mr. speaker. i implore or senators, do what is right. you have changed your rules, 150 times, most recently to raise the debt ceiling. if you can protect the full faith and credit of the united states, surely you can protect the democracy. the time is now. what we need is courage. as we prepare to observe the birthday of dr. martin luther king, let us remember that justice delayed can be justice denied. senators, we need your leadership. we need it now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired.
i remind everyone to direct your remarks to the chair. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i appreciate that reminder. i'd like to now yield one minute to my good friend from the state of arizona, mrs. lesko. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lesko: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. davis. republicans are trying to protect everyone's right to vote and the integrity of the election. it boggles my mind that in some cities in the united states noncitizens are allowed to vote. here in washington, d.c., and other cities, when we go to a restaurant, we need to show our passport, vaccination database passport saying we are fully vaccinated before we are allowed to enter. but yet my democrat colleagues
don't seem to want voter i.d. in the state of arizona, we have a law in place that requires voter i.d. to vote. we also have a law in place that was held up by the courts that does prohibit ballot harvesting. yet it continues to boggle my mind that our democrat colleagues want to undo what the states have done. undo state rights. i am opposed to this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, madam speaker. i want to remind my friend from arizona, who just spoke, that this bill sets uniform national standards for states that choose to require identification to vote. the bill gives states the flexibility, flexibility to choose whether to require voter i.d.'s. it is not a mandatory voter i.d. law. at this time, madam speaker, it
is my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, a thoughtful leader on the committee on judiciary committee, mr. mondaire jones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jones: madam speaker, my colleagues across the aisle have asked why we are voting today to protect our democracy. the answer is as clear to me as it is unimaginable to them. for the people. this one's for the people who made today possible. for the young people who cast their first votes in 2020. and for the seniors who cast their first votes in 1966 after passage of the original voting rights act. for the people who like john lewis, put their lives on the line on bloody sunday. and for the people who risked their lives to overcome racist voter suppression at the height of this pandemic. for people like my mentor, and professor, the late loni lanier, mother of the 1982 amendment to
the voting rights act. for the people who don't have a vote but who do have a voice. voting rights are preservative of all other rights. but time is running out. we can still have a democracy, madam speaker. but only if we pass this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: madam speaker, at this time i would like to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from connecticut, my friend, the chair of the appropriations committee who stays in perpetual motion, miss rosa delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. delauro: ensuring all americans can freely participate in the electoral process is a bedrock of our democratic society. today in this country we are witnessing an attack on that sacred right to vote, restricting voting access.
we must act to restore federal oversight. what we do will determine the course of our democracy for generations to come. our late colleague, john lewis, shed blood for the right of all americans to vote. let us honor the legacy of those who fought to protect voting rights and pass this critical legislation. president biden made our choice today clear, and i quote, will we choose democracy over awe talk acy -- awe tock acy. justice over injustice. like the president i know where i stand and i urge my colleagues to join me in voting for the freedom to vote, john r. lewis act. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: reserve, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: madam speaker, may we enfire about how much
time -- inquire about how much time each side has remaining. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina has 6 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from illinois has 2 and a quarter minutes. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, madam speaker. for giving us the time check. at this time it is my delight to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from texas, my friend, and another member who stays in perpetual motion, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. a member of the judiciary committee. a senior member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: to the distinguished leader of this debate, mr. butterfield, for your service to this nation i am grateful. this is a somber, sacred moment in our lives on this floor. i stand here in the name of the blood shed by those foot
soldiers, dr. martin luther king and john robert lewis who shed his blood on the edmund pettus bridge. my friends who vote no today will disregard and ignore that blood shed. i refuse to ignore the blood that was shed for the right to vote. as a member of the house judiciary committee this committee builds over the course of 13 hearings in two congresses, led bier gerry nadler and steve cohen, the record for the john robert lewis bill. and for that i am grateful for i stand as a vick ive. lack of preclearance. the bills that we have will eliminate a legislature as texas bill states to overturn duly voters choice. it will prevent the purging of voters which happens all the time. it will protect you at the polls and disallow people from interfering with your vote. it is now a sacred honor and charge. we must vote no in the name of martin king and john robert lewis.
we can't do less. the senate must do its job. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i reserve, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: at this time i would like to yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, from houston, texas, harris county, my friend, my classmate, congressman al green. for one minute. . mr. green: thank you, madam speaker, madam speaker, and still i rise. our country has a history of discriminating against people of color and women when it comes to the right to vote. but that all changed in 1965 when president lyndon johnson signed the 1965 voting rights act. because you see, prior to his signing that act in 1965, there were four asian members of congress. in 2021, there were 21 members.
there were four latino members of congress. in 2021, 54. there were six black members of congress. in 2021, 60. and there were 18 women in congress in 1965. and in 2021, there were 147. we must restore the voting rights act and protect democracy. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i'd like to reserve, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, madam speaker. at this time, in the interest of time, i will yield one half minute, that's 30 seconds, to the gentleman from dallas, texas, my friend, congressman allred. mr. allred: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, this should be a bipartisan vote. the right to vote has been re-authorized and the voting rights act has been
re-authorized overwhelmingly by bipartisan majorities in this house and unanimously in the senate. my constituent, george w. bush, signed the re-authorization of the voting rights act. but now it's time for us to not just restore the voting rights act but to make sure we expand voting rights across the country, to give us a sword and a shield. the shield of the voting rights act to protect the right to vote, to protect changes. the sword of the freedom to vote act, the expansion it will provide, vote by mail, voter region station, and make sure -- registration, and make sure all voices are heard in elections. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. davis: i'd like to verve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: madam speaker, again, how much time do we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has four minutes remaining. mr. butterfield: thank you. mr. davis, i'm prepared to close. mr. davis: would the gentleman like to yield me a couple minutes, too? mr. butterfield: i'd yield. mr. davis: i'm good.
mr. butterfield: you are my friend. mr. davis: you are my friend. i appreciate the debate. i am prepared to close, if i may. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. davis: it's friendships like this, mr. butterfield, that i look around this chamber and i think we as america should be celebrating what america is doing right. look at the diversity of who serves here in the u.s. house of representatives. the voting rights act of 1965 was necessary to stop discrimination and it's worked. but make no mistake, today's bill is not a voting rights bill. today's bill, unfortunately, is a bill that leads to lining your own campaign coffers with public funds. now, speaker pelosi, the speaker was on the floor today.
no matter how many times she says it, there's no taxpayer funds, it's not true. let me go through is the original h.r. 1, when proposed last congress, did have taxpayer funding of political campaigns, our own campaigns, but now they take the first-ever corporate money through corporate fines. they put it into the department of treasury's laundry machine. it comes out -- comes out as part of the department of treasury. that's not public funds. does that mean when you send your check to pay your taxes it go to the department of treasury, that those aren't public funds? every single person who votes yes for this bill that is not a voting rights bill is voting to line their own campaign pockets. that is not what the american people want. 94% of americans say it's easy to vote. we have asked time and time
again, give me one person to show up at a hearing that said that they wanted to vote in the last election and couldn't. not one person has walked through that door. not one person has showed up on a zoom call. not one person. why in the world do we continue to try to gaslight the american people into thinking that this is about voting rights? this is not about voting rights. it's about lining your own campaign coffers. it's about breaking a tradition in the senate. this is about taking over and winning elections for one side over the other. vote no on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you very much, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume in order to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you, madam speaker. first of all, madam speaker, let me thank the gentleman from illinois, mr. rodney davis.
when members of congress say to each other, you are my friend, i just want the world to know that we mean that sincerely. mr. davis and i are genuinely friends. i am the chairman of the subcommittee. he's the ranking member of our full committee. and we have a whole relationship. we respect each other. thank you so much, mr. davis. and thank you to our chair of the full committee on house administration, congresswoman zoe lofgren, who allowed me to manage the floor today. i want to thank her for her leadership, not only on this committee but also on the committee on the judiciary. madam speaker, this has been a healthy debate. this is the way congress should work. this is a healthy debate, and i look forward to debate in the senate. i hope it will start forthwith and conclude on monday. i look forward to passage in the united states senate. madam speaker, the choice before the house today is clear. we must protect our democracy. it is past time for this
congress to act. historically -- madam speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: madam speaker, it is past time for congress to act. historically, we have come together to protect the right to vote. from the voting rights act of 1965 that i remember so well, its subsequent re-authorizations in various election administration bills, we have protected and expanded the right to vote. and madam speaker, we must do that again. the voting rights act works along with lana and julius chambers and leslie winter and jack greenburg of the naacp legal defense fund, i joined with them in the 1980's and
litigated voting right act cases in north carolina. the voting rights act works. throughout my career, i have witnessed this body come together to ensure all americans have a voice in this democracy. we must do that again now. when of our most sacred rights in this country is the right to vote. in fact, as the supreme court observed, other rights, even the most basic, the most basic are illosery if the right to vote is undermined. as a nation, we cannot -- we must not tolerate any voter suppression, any voter discrimination of any kind in any state in america. and so i respectfully urge all of my colleagues, democrat and republican, all 435 of us, i urge all of us to support this
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