This week, the United States Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform that takes an important step towards fixing our nation's broken immigration system. I applaud the Senate for their bipartisan legislation, which creates a reasonable pathway to citizenship for 11 million people already in our country, while also ensuring the security of our borders. It is now time for the House to take action, and I will continue to encourage Republican leadership to act swiftly on comprehensive and bipartisan reform of our immigration system.
Also this week, the Supreme Court issued a number of rulings on pivotal cases. The Court ruled against Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which I believe greatly undermines the law's ability to protect voters from disenfranchisement and discrimination. It now falls to Congress to come together and reach a solution to ensure all Americans can exercise their right to vote. While I was greatly disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act, I welcomed the Court's decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. I joined with families across our nation in celebrating a resounding step towards greater equality for all.
On Monday, July 1, student loan interest rates are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8% as a result of Congress' failure to reach agreement on legislation that could be signed into law. Additionally, this Monday will also mark 100 days since the Senate passed its budget, at which point negotiations could have begun on a final version. Unfortunately, the House Republican leadership has refused to appoint budget conferees to finish our work on a final budget that would stop the sequester. House Democrats this week named our appointments to the budget conference committee, and now it's time for Speaker Boehner to do the same. When Congress returns after the July 4th district work period, we must make addressing the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act decision a top priority, along with comprehensive immigration reform, student loan interest rates and finishing our work on a budget that replaces the harmful sequester.
Wishing you and your family a great Independence Day,
STENY H. HOYER
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