When it hit the senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist assured the public that there would be a vote... someday. But he was suddenly spurred to action on the very day that Bush decided to break his longstanding tradition of refusing to speak before the NAACP. What a coincidence!
A bill to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for 25 years moved toward passage Thursday, propelled by a Republican push to increase the party's credibility with minorities.
On the same day President Bush was appearing for the first time before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Senate churned through debate on the law, enacted to halt racist voting practices in the South.
Few obstacles stand in the way of Congress renewing the landmark civil rights law — a year before it expires. (. . .)
The bill passed the House 390-33 last week, with opposition mostly from Southern Republicans who said the law unfairly singles out their states for racist voting practices of yesteryear without crediting them with improvements. A few senators have echoed those concerns, but the renewal is expected to pass in that chamber overwhelmingly.