The Senate voted Wednesday to block consideration of a voting rights act named after late civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
With Vice President Kamala Harris presiding over a portion of the vote, senators voted 50-49 on whether to bring the bill up for debate, falling short of the 60 votes required to move forward.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a virtual meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
In August, H.R. 4, known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, passed the House by a vote of 219-212, with all Republicans voting no and all Democrats who were present voting yes.
FILE – In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
The Lewis bill outlines a new, expanded formula that the Department of Justice can use to identify discriminatory voting patterns in states and local jurisdictions. Those entities would then need to get DOJ approval before making further changes to elections. The bill also includes a provision designed to counter the summer’s Supreme Court ruling that made it harder to challenge potentially discriminatory voting changes.
Following weeks of private negotiations, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, signed on to a revised version of the bill.
December 14, 2020 – Washington, DC, United States: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaking at a press conference to introduce a bipartisan and bicameral COVID relief bill. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)No Use UK. No Use Germany. (Reuters)
“Ensuring our elections are fair, accessible and secure is essential to restoring the American people’s faith in our Democracy,” Manchin said in a statement Wednesday discussing a bipartisan compromise on the act.
In a procedural step, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voted ‘no’ Wednesday, allowing him to bring the bill up for another vote in the future.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this article.