John Lewis, civil rights champion and the ‘conscience of Congress,’ was honored by his colleagues at the US Capitol.
WASHINGTON – John Lewis will lie in state in the Capitol for a second day Tuesday, giving the public time to pay respects to the civil rights icon and longtime lawmaker before he’s laid to rest in Georgia.
Public viewing will continue from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Lewis will lie in state in Georgia’s capitol rotunda Wednesday before his funeral in Atlanta on Thursday.
As the public services continue, Black lawmakers are calling on Congress to honor Lewis’ legacy by supporting legislation that would restore a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., said a bipartisan group of lawmakers should be designated to negotiate details.
“If you want to honor his legacy, pick a `gang of eight’ and let’s go to work,” said Richmond, former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “If they’re serious. My gut tells me they’re not.”
In December, with Lewis presiding over the vote, the Democratic-led House passed voting rights legislation that has not been taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate.
The bill, which the House agreed Monday to name after Lewis, would amend the 1965 law to create a new way of measuring if states require oversight for violating minority voting rights.
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that law’s original formula was unconstitutional.
Some Republicans have argued that oversight is no longer needed.
Democrats have made voting rights a priority. One of the first measures they passed after taking control of the House in the 2018 election would expand voting rights.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, the Ohio Democrat who heads a House subcommittee on elections, is holding a hearing Tuesday on voting rights in the U.S. territories.
She said lawmakers who are praising Lewis, need to “to put up or shut up.”
“They can’t continue to give lip service and not support what somebody like John stood for,” she said.
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