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Former Rep. John Lewis in 2013. Photo: Riccardo S. Savi via Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service

House Democrats introduced a voting rights bill that was named in honor of the late Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The bill would restore elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and allow the federal government to block certain state changes to election laws it finds to be discriminatory.

  • "Today, old battles have become new again as we face the most coordinated effort to restrict the right to vote in generations & a Supreme Court keen on destroying our nation's most consequential civil rights law, the Voting Rights Act," Sewell said.

Why it matters: Democrats are trying to counter a wave of new voting restrictions in Republican states. Any bill faces an uphill battle in the tied Senate where it would need 60 votes to pass.

Background: In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a provision of the Voting Rights Act that allowed for the regulation of new election laws. The provision primarily affected Southern states that had a history of discrimination.

  • In July, the Supreme Court upheld a set of voting restrictions in Arizona, making it much more difficult for the Justice Department to challenge new voting laws.

Flashback: Lewis died in July 2020, and Democratic lawmakers and other civil rights leaders renewed calls for voting rights protections.

The big picture: The House is poised to vote on the measure next week. They passed the For the People Act, an expansive election and anti-corruption bill, in March, which was ultimately blocked by Republican senators.

  • "Across the country, we continue to bear witness to GOP attacks on voting rights with restrictive laws and voter-ID rules to prevent people of color, students, and others from having their voices heard at the ballot box," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Axios Atlanta

Scoop: Georgia's Raffensperger calls for bipartisan election reform

Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Axios that it's time for a bipartisan commission on federal election reform, like the one co-chaired by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker in 2005.

Why it matters: Raffensperger refused former President Donald Trump’s request last year to "find" the votes to overturn Georgia’s election results and defended the state's 2020 vote count from members of his own party.

Jim Jordan says Jan. 6 call with Trump happened after attack

Rep. Jim Jordan. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Wednesday told a House panel his Jan. 6 phone call with former President Trump took place after the attack on the Capitol, though he waffled on the possibility and timing of other calls.

Why it matters: The Jan. 6 select committee is casting a wide net to try to uncover facts about Trump's involvement in the attack, and Jordan's conversations that day with the former president put him in that panel's crosshairs.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Facebook paying up to $14M to settle employment discrimination claims

Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The settlement represents the largest civil penalty and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.