SCOTT LEADS FLOOR DEBATE AGAINST VRA AMENDMENT
Jun 29 -
Congressman David Scott took the House Floor last night and delivered the following remarks to protest an amendment offered to the FY07 Science-State-Justice-Commerce spending bill to prevent funds to carry out any provision of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 203 ensures that American citizens with limited English proficiency get the help they need at the polls. House Republican leaders delayed a scheduled vote on the voting rights extension bill in part because of opposition to Section 203. With the defeat of the amendment by a vote of 167-254, Congress must not delay any further in reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.
Mr. Chairman, this is a very shameful amendment, and I will tell you why it is shameful.
Here we are on the eve of the 4th of July at the very foundation of this country when those noble words were spoken by Thomas Jefferson, ``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among those, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,'' and the most important guarantee of that pursuit of happiness is the right to vote.
Not long ago, many of my colleagues on that side of the aisle stuck their finger in purple ink and proudly went around and promoted it because the Iraqis had the freedom to go and vote. There was a private first class named Private First Class Rincon from my district in Conyers, Georgia, who gave his life and died for that right, and he was not even a United States citizen. This House had to approve his citizenship posthumously.
Now we want to pass an amendment that would give just a little bit of help to his wife, to his mother, to his grandmother, who have difficulty with the English language.
This is a terrible moment at a terrible time, when we should be speaking to the greatness of this country, to the right to vote, to cherish it. Here we are on the eve of the 4th of July being what was referred to 40 years ago in the bestseller, being the Ugly American.
Let us prove that we are the good American and vote down this ``Ugly American'' amendment.
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