WASHINGTON – “Today is incredibly personal and special to me and my district,” said Rep. Terri Sewell, (D) of Alabama.
Sewell is celebrating the House passing a bill she’s been pushing.
“For six years since the Shelby decision- I have been filing this bill,” said Sewell.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act is designed to restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act- that she says was gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision.
Sewell’s bill hopes to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by establishing which states must pre-clear election changes with the Department of Justice.
Sewell and Democrats say it isn’t just their bill- it’s for everyone – putting an end to voter suppression.
“Not all lawmakers were in agreement on the bill, saying it could infringe on states’ rights with a last minute attempt to kill the bill in the final moments.
But that didn’t stop the bill from passing… with one Republican voting with the united Democrats.
In a historic moment on the House floor – with civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis calling the vote.
“The motion to reconsider is laid upon the table,” said Lewis.
The fight for Democrats isn’t over. The bill now moves to the Senate where it is expected to face a tough battle.
But Sewell says- she believes in her bill.
“We have to get this across the finish line – we have to get it to the President who will sign it,” Sewell said.