If you thought you’d heard all of the nonsensical reasons for a Republican member of Congress to be opposed to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) proffered another one Sunday morning during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.
Host Jake Tapper began the interview with Cassidy by inquiring:
“The Senate’s going to take up the Democrats’ election reform bills this week. A key part one of them is the John Lewis Voting Rights Act which would restore provisions of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act that protects against discriminatory state election laws. When the Senate reauthorized that law just a decade ago it passed 98-0. Why don’t Republicans, including yourself, support restoring those, the voting rights act now?”
‘So the Supreme Court decided, that the conditions in 1965 are different than they are now. Imagine that? We’ve had an African American-elected president of the United States, and an African-American elected to the vice presidency and African-American elected to the Senate in South Carolina. If anyone can’t see the circumstances have changed, they’re just not believing their lying eyes.”
All three of the people cited by Cassidy were elected before states such as Georgia and Texas had passed restrictive voter suppression bills that greatly hinder the ability of resident to cast a ballot by mail and also reduce the number of polling places in districts that are composed of black voters.
The Louisiana Republican then added:
“The reality is that, in Louisiana, we have the highest percentage of African-American officials in the nation. We’ve had a white mayor of a predominantly black city and a black mayor of a predominantly white city. There’s been incredible progress in our country.
“There’s more to do, absolutely. We need safeguards, but to argue we are still the same as we were in 1965 is to deny facts that are clearly before us.”
If Sen. Cassidy feels there’s “more to do,” then why doesn’t he support making election day a national holiday? Why isn’t he urging his GOP colleagues to reauthorize key sections of the Voting Rights Act, which were supported by Republicans just 10 years ago?
Sen. Cassidy and others in his party say one thing, but if they really wanted to see Americans vote in record numbers, they’d pass the John Lewis Act. Instead, they just want to pay lip service to the idea as they maneuver to steal every election from this point forward.
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