Ryan To Black Caucus: I’m With You On Voting Rights–But I Can’t Do Anything

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said House Speaker Paul Ryan told them he backs a bill to restore portions of the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court, but won’t bypass his committee chairman to bring it the floor for a vote, The Hill reported.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) told The Hill that Ryan had signaled support for the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), at a meeting with the group of black lawmakers Wednesday.

“So somebody was saying, ‘Well, why don’t you go tell your committee chair to do it?’ ” Cleaver said. “And he said, … ‘Look, I can’t do that.'”

According to The Hill, Ryan does not want to step on the toes of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), whose committee has jurisdiction over the legislation. Goodlatte has said that what’s left of the Voting Rights Act is enough to protect the franchise and thus the bill is not necessary. Ryan, a former committee chairman himself, has expressed a commitment to a bottom-up approach to leadership that defers to committees on advancing legislation.

“He said, ‘I told my own conference I’m not going to do it, so I’m not going to come up here and tell you anything differently. … I want it to be the product of the committee,’ ” Cleaver recounted, according to The Hill.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: