WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) – “Today is incredibly personal and special to me and my district,” Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) said Friday.
Sewell is celebrating the House passing a bill she’s been pushing.
“For six years since the Shelby decision – I have been filing this bill,” she added.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act is designed to restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that Sewell said was gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision.
Sewell’s bill hopes to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by establishing which states must pre-clear election changes with the Department of Justice.
Sewell and Democrats said it isn’t just their bill, that it is for everyone. They say it will put an end to voter suppression.
“H.R. 4 the people,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) added.
Not all lawmakers were in agreement on the bill. Republicans said it could infringe on states’ rights and one member made a last-minute attempt to kill the bill in the final moments.
“The voting rights act is in effect today,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) said.
But Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) attempt didn’t stop the bill from passing in a historic moment on the House floor with civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis calling the vote.
Only one Republican voted with the united Democrats. Everyone else was against the passage.
And the fight for Democrats isn’t over. The bill now moves to the Senate where it is expected to face a tough battle.
But Sewell said she believes in her bill.
“We have to get this across the finish line. We have to get it to the president who will sign it,” she said.