Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, we are here today to celebrate two very different anniversaries. Fifty years ago, we enjoyed the Freedom Summer and the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that paved the way for voting rights in this country.
Sadly, Mr. Speaker, 49 years later--and 1 year ago today--the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, saying that it was outdated and unjustified.
Since this decision, we have seen that the Voting Rights Act is needed more than ever now before. From 2000 to 2013, there were a recorded 148 violations in 29 States, meaning 29 States have actively tried to pass laws, such as requiring a photo ID or cutting out early voting, which limits access to the ballot.
It is time we pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act, of which I am a proud cosponsor, and keep fighting until voting rights are reinstated in this country.