WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) announced that he and Representative Luke Messer (IN-6), the Republican freshman class president, will sign on to H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Act Amendment of 2014.
The legislation, which was sponsored by the former Republican Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5), would bring the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into the 21st century by revising the criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions are subject to Section 4 of the act.
Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was struck down by the Supreme Court's decision last June by a 5-4 decision.
"I am pleased to be co-sponsoring this piece of legislation with my Republican counterpart, Rep. Messer of Indiana," said Congressman Steven Horsford. "The Voting Rights Act served as an important vehicle for democratic progress and is a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. It is a critical tool in preventing disenfranchisement and passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities since it was first introduced in 1965. It is vital that Congress works together to safeguard our country's most sacred right."
"Everyone in America has a right to vote," said Congressman Luke Messer. "Our laws ought to protect that right. The Leahy-Sensenbrenner bill is a common-sense update to the Voting Rights Act, and I'm pleased to cosponsor this bill alongside my freshman colleague Rep. Horsford. I will continue to look for ways to work across party lines to pass bipartisan pieces of legislation that move this country forward."
Horsford added, "The Voting Rights Act blocked more than 1,000 voting law changes between 1982 and 2006. In 2012 alone, the Voting Rights Act stopped a Voter ID law in Texas and a Florida law that eliminated early voting days. I am hopeful that by passing H.R. 3899, we can demonstrate bipartisanship in a polarized Congress."
The last time the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized was in 2006. The House of Representatives moved to reauthorize the VRA at that time with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 390-33.