One reason we need people like John Lewis in Congress is to remind us of our history. Here is a video from a couple of days ago in which Lewis denounces a proposed amendment to de-fund Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
"People died for the right to vote," John Lewis reminds us. Friends of his. Current efforts in a number of states, and in Congress, to make it more difficult to vote represent an affront to this history, and a reversal of the progress we have made toward opening up the political process to full participation by all citizens. It is because of those efforts to restrict the ability to vote that Section 5 is still needed.
There should be no mistake about this. People are not trying to de-fund enforcement of the Voting Rights Act because this funding is unnecessary and antiquated. They are doing it because they have found that efforts to enact new barriers to the ability to vote are running up against federal enforcement. In other words, they are trying to de-fund Section 5 precisely because it is still working the way it was meant to work.
To his credit, Representative Broun immediately withdrew his proposal in the face of Lewis's objection, and apologized for giving offense.