MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
Today, we mark the one-year anniversary of the Senate passage of a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. 365 days later, House Republican leaders have refused to bring any immigration reform legislation to the House Floor for a vote. The majority of the American people, over 30 House Republicans, numerous faith-based organizations, hundreds of business leaders, the technology industry, agriculture groups, and labor organizations are being ignored by the House Republican leadership, but House Democrats remain committed to addressing this critical issue until immigration reform is a reality. Fixing our broken immigration system isn’t just a moral obligation, it’s an economic issue with the potential to grow our economy, expand innovation, and reduce the deficit by over $900 billion in the next twenty years.
Also this past Wednesday, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a key part of the 1964 Voting Rights Act, taking away critical protections for American voters. In the year since the Court's bad decision, Republican-led state governments across the country have imposed discriminatory voting restrictions making it harder for Americans to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Once again, House Republican leaders have refused to rectify this situation despite the introduction of the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a bipartisan bill with over 150 co-sponsors waiting for action. The right to vote is a fundamental component of a democracy, and every American deserves the opportunity to make his or her voice heard when selecting our nation’s leaders. In light of these two very important anniversaries, I hope Republicans in the House will begin to work with Democrats to bring the Voting Rights Amendment Act, H.R. 3899, and House immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, to the Floor for a vote without delay.
The clock is also ticking on reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a significant government agency that supports job creation, helps American small businesses, and is also set to expire on September 30. Earlier this week, Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced the Protect American Jobs and Exports Act that would extend the Bank’s charter for seven years. The Export-Import Bank plays an important role in keeping our nation’s manufacturing sector competitive in the global marketplace, and that is why business leaders across the country and over forty House Republicans are calling upon House Republican leadership to extend the Bank’s charter before it expires for the first time in its 80-year history. With 16 legislative days remaining on the calendar time is of the essence for the Republican leadership to stop stalling, work with Democrats and let the House work its will on the many critical and time–sensitive issues facing our economic well-being and the American people.
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