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Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006

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Location: Washington, DC


FANNIE LOU HAMER, ROSA PARKS, AND CORETTA SCOTT KING VOTING RIGHTS ACT REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2006 -- (House of Representatives - July 13, 2006)

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman. I think what we do in the U.S. Congress is important. I think what this committee has done on this bill is important. Indeed, we hear from the committee members over and over again, we had many, many witnesses, 12,000 pages of testimony. They put some effort into it.

So why is that same committee afraid of leaving the door open for future Congresses in 10 years from taking another look? Because I can tell you this, as a member of the State legislature who served on the reapportionment committee in 1991: The Voting Rights Act is fluid. It evolves, it changes.

We have seen the Bossier Parish decision. We have seen the Ashcroft v. Georgia decision. We have seen the LULAC decision in Texas. All have profound impacts on the Voting Rights Act, and therefore, I think it is important for Congress to come back in 10 years and take a look at it.

I know the committee has been a little clever with 9 years, but you guys, we could say your reauthorization is 26 years, but the intent is 10 years. We all

know that, but what Mr. Gohmert is saying is, the Voting Rights Act changes, and anybody who has served in the legislature and anybody who has watched the Voting Rights Act knows it changes without one single vote of Congress.

This is the first time we have been voting on it in 25 years, and yet it is totally different than the interpretation of 1982, the interpretation of 1991. Reapportionment in 2001 was totally different than the 110 years before that, and I can say this, it is going to impact lots and lots of minorities.

We tend to think of this as black v. white. There is a huge growing Hispanic population that is totally almost removed from this argument today. Those are the ones 10 years from now that are going to have the most impact. So I urge my colleagues to support this amendment

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