House Democrats gloated on Twitter today that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) “shamed” Republicans into pulling a “voter suppression amendment” off the floor.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) introduced the amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 yesterday. It would have prohibited federal funds to be used to carry out or enforce section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Section 5 requires that the Department of Justice “preclear” in certain jurisdictions any attempt to change “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting.” A jurisdiction seeking preclearance has to prove that the change would not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.
“It is hard and difficult and almost unbelievable that any member, especially a member from the state of Georgia, would come and offer such amendment,” Lewis said on the floor. “…It’s shameful to come here tonight and say to the Department of Justice, ‘You must not use one penny, one cent, one dime, one dollar to carry out the mandate of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.'”
The amendment was withdrawn the same day as its introduction by unanimous consent.
Dems completed their victory with a video gloat: