House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday outlined an ambitious overhaul to the way government operates — including legislation to strengthen voting rights protections. Pelosi, widely expected to be elected the next House Speaker, vowed to make it the first order of business when Democrats realize their newly won majority next year. The goal, Pelosi said, is “to reduce the role of money [and] advance fair elections, and one part of that is having the Voting Rights Act early on the agenda.” The effort would come following a midterm election that included a number of closely fought elections, including a tight race for governor in Georgia that was shadowed by accusations that black voters were being disenfranchised.
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), who has sponsored legislation to restore voting protections lost when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, said the issue will be “our first order of business” in the next Congress.
“That means starting work, on Day One, to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Sewell.