Subject: VRA Passes House
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 08:55:25 -0400
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TO: Concerned Parties
FROM: Bruce Gordon, President & CEO Hilary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES NAACP-SUPPORTED VOTING RIGHTS REAUTHORIZATION LEGISLATION OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR FINAL PASSAGE COMES AFTER ALL FOUR AMENDMENTS OFFERED ARE DEFEATED
THE ISSUE: In the early evening of Thursday, July 13, 2006, the US House of Representatives, by an overwhelming vote of 390 yeas to 33 nays (with 9 absences), passed H.R. 9, the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. This vote came after 4 problematic amendments, all of which would have eviscerated some or all of the bill, were soundly defeated.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where an almost identical bill (S. 2703) is due to be marked-up by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 19th. We are hopeful that the bill will pass the Senate, with little or no changes, before Senators leave Washington DC for the August break.
The NAACP strongly supports S. 2703 / H.R. 9 as passed by the US House, and is very pleased with today's action. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted to insure that no federal, state or local government may in any way impede people from registering to vote or voting because of their race or ethnicity. Most provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and specifically the portions that guarantee that no one may be denied the right to vote because of his or her race or color, are permanent.
There are, however, 3 key enforcement-related provisions of the Voting Rights Act that will expire in August 2007 unless reauthorized. Hearings held in 2005 and 2006 have found a new generation of tactics, including some at-large elections, annexations, last minute poll place changes and disenfranchising redistricting practices which have had a discriminatory impact on voters, especially racial and ethnic minority American voters. S. 2703 / H.R. 9 reauthorizes the portions of the VRA that will expire next year, restoring the Congress's original intent and allowing the federal government to address these new challenges. Please click here to view the entire Action Alert.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MATTER!!! If you have any questions, call Hilary Shelton at the Washington Bureau at (202) 463-2940.
MEMBERSHIP IS POWER! JOIN THE NAACP TODAY. For more information, call your local NAACP branch or visit http://www.magnetmail1.net/ls.cfm?r=29979446&sid=1272251&m=201794&u=NAACP_wash&s=http://www.naacp.org/
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