Goes without saying that Eric Cantor — #2 Republican in the U.S. House of Represenatives — gets a begrudging hat tip from the likes of National Journal this afternoon for attending the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage this weekend.
Of course, National Journal couldn’t just let it drop there…
Now Congress is considering a rewrite to a section of the Voting Rights Act, after the Supreme Court struck down key portions of the monumental civil-rights legislation. The rewrite, from Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican, and John Conyers, a Democrat, would create a new formula that would revive federal oversight of voting laws for just four states. Before the Supreme Court ruling, all or part of 15 states were covered under the legislation.
This less-rigorous measure has drawn criticism from some lawmakers and civil-rights groups. “We’re walking a narrow line,” Conyers has told National Journal. “If we overreach, we will lose Republican votes. But if we don’t go far enough, we will lose votes on our own side.” Some Republicans have said that another section of the Voting Rights Act, untouched by the Court, provides sufficient protections.
When asked if the House will vote on the measure this year and what his position is on the legislative fix, Cantor noted the criticisms of the amendment and said he has discussed the suggested changes with the NAACP and its counsel as well as with some Democrats.
“We’re working on it,” Cantor said. “Again, I would like to be able to address the concerns that are out there so that we can move forward.”
See how they do it?
Of course, hats off to Cantor for doing this. It sure beats resolutions honoring segregationist Harry F. Byrd, Jr by a mile.