Washington, D.C. August 6, 2020 – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement to mark the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law on August 6, 1965:

“For 55 years, the landmark Voting Rights Act has stood as a guardian of our democracy.  This historic achievement was a result of generations of patriotic Americans who struggled and gave their lives to overcome systemic injustice and disenfranchisement to insist on their right to vote.  At this moment, we also pause to reflect on the life and leadership of our hero and titan of the Civil Rights Movement, Congressman John Lewis, whose courage and sacrifice helped ensure passage of the VRA. 

“Yet, today, voting rights are under relentless attack.  The Supreme Court’s disastrous Shelby v. Holder decision unleashed an outrageous Republican campaign of voter suppression that is denying millions a voice, particularly in communities of color.  The vote is also under threat from hostile foreign interference and endangered by the coronavirus epidemic. 

“Despite these threats, Republicans refuse to safeguard our elections or access to the ballot box.  As one of our first acts in the Majority, House Democrats passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act, to protect the ballot.  We passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to restore the VRA and combat dangerous voter suppression.  And now, amid the coronavirus crisis, Democrats are fighting to protect vote-by-mail, safe in-person voting options and expand online and same-day voting registration.

“Now, Leader McConnell must end his obstruction, pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of 2020 and join us to restore voting rights and protect our elections during the coronavirus epidemic.  House Democrats will continue to advance a drumbeat of action across the country to safeguard our constitutional right to vote as we work to strengthen our democracy for generations to come.”