Leading GOP Congressman Wants New Voting Rights Law

A key GOP congressman wants a new voting rights law before next year’s midterm elections.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. (File)

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2013)—Congress should pass a new voting rights law before the 2014 midterm elections, U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told U.S. Senate panel Wednesday.

Sensenbrenner told the Senate panel the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Congress to update the formula for determining which entities have a history of discrimination in voting rights and need Justice Department supervision.

In 2006, Sensenbrenner led the effort to reauthorize the act.

He told reporters later Wednesday that Republican leaders in the House are open to passing a new law before the 2014 midterm elections, but provided no specifics, cautioning that the outcome must be politically acceptable to both the House and the Democratic-led Senate.

Civil rights veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., urged the Senate to restore the provision, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

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