House GOP sponsor wants new voting rights law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House Republican says Congress should pass a new voting rights law before the 2014 midterm elections.

Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the Supreme Court commanded Congress to update the formula for determining which localities have a history of discrimination in voting rights and thus need Justice Department supervision. Sensenbrenner in 2006 led the law’s reauthorization.

He told reporters later that Republican leaders in the House are open to passing a new law before the 2014 midterm elections. He provided no specifics, cautioning that the outcome must be politically acceptable to both the House and the Democratic-led Senate.

Civil rights veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., urged the Senate to restore the provision struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

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