Voting Rights

Speaker Ryan Says He Backs New Voting Rights Protections, But Not Enough to Actually Act on Them

Yesterday, Speaker Paul Ryan had some alarming news for members of the Congressional Black Caucus – he supports legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act, but he isn’t willing to bring a bipartisan bill to the Floor. Apparently, he “can’t do that.”

From the Hill:

“Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told black lawmakers Wednesday that he supports new voting rights protections they've championed, but said he won't bypass a committee chairman to move legislation, according to a Democrat who attended the gathering.”

“‘He said it right in front of everybody — he said he supports the [Jim] Sensenbrenner bill,’ Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said after Ryan met with the group on Capitol Hill.”

“‘So somebody was saying, 'Well, why don't you go tell your committee chair to do it?'’ Cleaver added. ‘And he said, … ‘Look, I can't do that.'”

Well, actually, he can. He’s the Speaker of the House! But instead of allowing the House to work its will, it appears he intends to sit idly by and allow states across the country to maintain policies that make it harder for Americans to cast a ballot on Election Day.