Chabot Leads Historic Voting Rights Act Reauthorization
Congressman Steve Chabot today helped lead a bipartisan coalition of House members in reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act. The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, H.R. 9, passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with the support of leaders in both parties.
"The right to vote is one of the most fundamental and essential rights we have as citizens," Chabot said today on the floor of the House. "Free, prosperous nations like ours can't exist without ensuring the right of citizens to vote -- it is the cornerstone of democracy and the centerpiece of our Constitution."
Chabot played a key role in crafting the Voting Rights Act reauthorization. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Chabot presided over 12 hearings on the Act and heard testimony from 47 witnesses. Chabot introduced the legislation on May 2 along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, the bill's sponsor, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Mel Watt (D-NC), Judiciary Constitution Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Identical bipartisan legislation was introduced and sponsored today in the Senate by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA), Judiciary Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).
"We are extremely fortunate to live in a great democracy where everyone has the right to vote, where everyone has the right to have their voice heard," Chabot said. "Our commitment to self-government, freedom and liberty continues to be a bright light for the rest of the world. The United States serves as a beacon of hope for fledgling democracies and those who dream to be free. Passage of the Voting Rights Act strengthens our democracy and demonstrates our commitment to protecting every citizen's right to vote.'