The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a voting reform bill that Democrats have promoted as a key piece of their legislative agenda, failed to muster enough Republican votes to break a filibuster in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, marking another unsuccessful effort by Democrats to pass a voting reform bill.
The Senate voted 50-49 to pass the bill, falling well short of the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was the only Republican to vote in favor of the bill, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed as a “go-nowhere bill” that he claims is not needed.
The act sought to reinstate a critical piece of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013, which required states and localities with a history of voter discrimination to receive “preclearance” from the Justice Department and federal courts before changing voting laws.
The bill passed the U.S. House in August in a 219-212 straight party-line vote.
“It’s a commonsense proposal to reinstate the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which were wrongfully struck down by a conservative Supreme Court and which have a long history of bipartisan support in the Senate,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in remarks on Wednesday.
Democrats have repeatedly said that placing new national standards on voting are a top priority, following President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud that have led Republican-controlled state legislatures to pass laws making it tougher to vote.