House Resolution 1, the bill House Democrats passed over unanimous Republican opposition, is of "foundational importance" in the fight against the disenfranchisement of Black and Latino voters, Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., said Thursday.
"We are experiencing in many parts of this country a new Jim Crow [era], where the modern-day Republican Party has as its project, not competing on the merits of its policy ideas, but the disenfranchisement of large swaths of the American electorate like the Black and Latino voters in Georgia's election," Jones told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
The bill, which is pending Senate approval, contains provisions for automatic voter registration, restrictions on voter purges, and public campaign financing, Jones noted. However, he did acknowledge the bill's political implications, saying it will help "get better people elected to Congress who don't debate the need for $2,000 survival checks in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
However, Republicans are insisting that the bill will allow unwanted federal interference in states' authority to conduct their own elections and said that it will ultimately benefit Democrats through higher voter turnout, particularly among minorities.
National Urban League President Marc Morial, also on the early morning program, said there is a "massive movement" to place "voter suppression on steroids" on the state level, and accused Republicans of suppressing the votes of people who are young, "voters who are Black, voters who are brown, and even older voters."
Jones also called the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, also passed on Wednesday, an "important piece of legislation" that the Senate must pass.
"We saw the greatest civil rights movement since the other civil rights movement that preceded it happen last summer in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many names," said Jones. "We want the rooting out of systemic racism in policing. ... It's no wonder so many of those situations have escalated where officers have not been trained to respond to the situation because they lack the expertise."
He added that nobody is saying all law enforcement officers are bad, or even most, but "the American people at large understand that there's a real serious issue of racism in policing in this country."
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