New York Times: After Fiery Speech, Voting Rights Amendment Is Pulled
Sometimes during lengthy floor debates on bills, interesting things happen in the witching hours.
Such was the case late Wednesday, when Representative John Lewis of Georgia pushed back with a fiery speech directed at an amendment offered by Representative Paul C. Broun of Georgia that would have barred the Justice Department from using money to enforce a part of the Voting Rights Act.
At around 10 p.m., Mr. Lewis, a former civil rights leader, took to the podium to denounce the amendment, which sought to end financing for enforcement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minority voters from being disenfranchised.
He began by saying it was “hard and difficult and almost unbelievable that any member, especially a member from the state of Georgia,” would offer the amendment. As he laid out various methods used before the civil rights movement to suppress the black vote, he added: “People died for the right to vote! Friends of mine! Colleagues of mine!”
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