WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, the House passed H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Named for the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Robert Lewis, H.R. 4 restores Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that requires states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before changing their voting laws.

“Congress stepped up last night in protecting our precious right to vote,” Rep. Dean said. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve with John Lewis and now to honor him with this incredibly critical bill in his name.”

With the passage of H.R. 4, the House Democrats are looking ahead to September to two transformative pieces of legislation: the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act. The bipartisan infrastructure bill will bring much needed renovation to Pennsylvania with nearly $11 billion for highways and roughly $2 billion for our bridges, and over $2 billion for public transportation. The Build Back Better Act will bring forth universal Pre-K, two years of tuition-free community college, extended paid family leave, and expanded Medicare — including vision, dental, and hearing coverage. 

In the meantime, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will be brought to the Senate.

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.