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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning after the House Republican leadership announced that it was pulling the “Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006" (H.R. 9) from Floor consideration today:
“It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing that the Republican leadership has pulled this bipartisan bill, which reauthorizes for 25 years key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that are set to expire in 2007. Clearly, there are some on the Republican side who object to this legislation and they forced the leadership’s hand today. House Democrats stand in virtual unanimous support for this important bill, and we believe that we must pass this bipartisan legislation without delay.
“This legislation is a recognition that our democratic system is not perfect. The specter of discrimination still haunts us, and we have a responsibility to be vigilant in protecting the most elemental expression of equality in democracy – the right to vote.
“I commend Congressman Mel Watt, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner for all of their hard work on this legislation. It is my hope and expectation that Republican leaders will be able to address any objections to this bill on their side of the aisle and that it will be rescheduled for Floor consideration as soon as possible.”