[House Report 117-116]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


117th Congress     }                                 {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session       }                                 {        117-116

======================================================================

 
 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL (H.R. 4) TO AMEND THE VOTING 
RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 TO REVISE THE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHICH STATES 
AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS ARE SUBJECT TO SECTION 4 OF THE ACT, AND FOR 
OTHER PURPOSES; PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO 
   THE BILL (H.R. 3684) TO AUTHORIZE FUNDS FOR FEDERAL AID HIGHWAYS, 
HIGHWAY SAFETY PROGRAMS, AND TRANSIT PROGRAMS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES; 
 AND PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION (S. CON. 
 RES. 14) SETTING FORTH THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET FOR THE UNITED STATES 
   GOVERNMENT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022 AND SETTING FORTH THE APPROPRIATE 
  BUDGETARY LEVELS FOR FISCAL YEARS 2023 THROUGH 2031; AND FOR OTHER 
                                PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

  August 24, 2021.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

             Mr. Neguse (CO), from the Committee on Rules, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                       [To accompany H. Res. 600]

    The Committee on Rules, having had under consideration 
House Resolution 600, by a record vote of 8 to 3, report the 
same to the House with the recommendation that the resolution 
be adopted.

                SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF THE RESOLUTION

    The resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 4, the 
John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, under a 
closed rule. The resolution provides one hour of debate equally 
divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on the Judiciary or their respective 
designees. The resolution waives all points of order against 
consideration of the bill. The resolution provides that the 
amendment printed in part A of this report shall be considered 
as adopted and the bill, as amended, shall be considered as 
read. The resolution waives all points of order against 
provisions in the bill, as amended. The resolution provides one 
motion to recommit. The resolution provides that the chair of 
the Committee on the Judiciary may insert in the Congressional 
Record such material as he may deem explanatory of H.R. 4 not 
later than August 24, 2021. The resolution provides for 
consideration of the Senate amendment to H.R. 3684, the 
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The resolution makes in 
order a motion offered by the chair of the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure or his designee that the 
House concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 3684. The 
resolution waives all points of order against consideration of 
the Senate amendment and the motion. The resolution provides 
that the Senate amendment and the motion shall be considered as 
read. The resolution provides one hour of debate on the motion 
equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
minority member of the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure or their designees. The resolution provides that 
Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 is hereby adopted. The 
resolution provides that rule XXVIII shall not apply with 
respect to the adoption by the House of a concurrent resolution 
on the budget for fiscal year 2022. The resolution provides 
that House Resolution 595, as amended by the amendment printed 
in part B of report, is hereby adopted. The resolution provides 
that House Resolution 594 is laid on the table.

                         EXPLANATION OF WAIVERS

    The waiver of all points of order against consideration of 
H.R. 4 includes a waiver of clause 12 of rule XXI, which 
prohibits consideration of a bill pursuant to a special order 
of business reported by the Committee on Rules that has not 
been reported by a committee.
    Although the rule waives all points of order against 
provisions in H.R. 4, as amended, the Committee is not aware of 
any points of order. The waiver is prophylactic in nature.
    The waiver of all points of order against consideration of 
the motion to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 3684 
includes waivers of the following:
    --Clause 4 of rule XXI, which prohibits reporting a bill 
carrying an appropriation from a committee not having 
jurisdiction to report an appropriation.
    --Clause 6 of rule XXII, which provides that a Senate 
amendment carrying a tax or tariff measure in violation of 
clause 5(a) of rule XXI may not be agreed to.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    The results of each record vote on an amendment or motion 
to report, together with the names of those voting for and 
against, are printed below:

Rules Committee record vote No. 144

    Motion by Rep. Neguse to report the rule. Adopted: 8-3

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Majority Members                      Vote               Minority Members               Vote
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mrs. Torres.....................................  ............  Mr. Cole..........................          Nay
Mr. Perlmutter..................................          Yea   Mr. Burgess.......................  ............
Mr. Raskin......................................          Yea   Mr. Reschenthaler.................          Nay
Ms. Scanlon.....................................          Yea   Mrs. Fischbach....................          Nay
Mr. Morelle.....................................          Yea
Mr. DeSaulnier..................................          Yea
Ms. Ross........................................          Yea
Mr. Neguse......................................          Yea
Mr. McGovern, Chairman..........................          Yea
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   SUMMARY OF THE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4 IN PART A CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED

    1. Nadler (NY): Makes a number of clarifying edits to 
sections 2, 3, 5, and 10 of the bill as introduced and adds a 
new provision that establishes an administrative bail-out 
procedure for political subdivisions to remove themselves 
quickly from preclearance coverage in appropriate 
circumstances.

SUMMARY OF THE AMENDMENT TO H. RES. 595 IN PART B CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED

    1. Strikes ``September 28'' and inserts ``September 27''.

       PART A--TEXT OF AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4 CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED

  Page 3, line 6, strike ``or (e)'' and insert ``or (f)''.

  Page 3, line 15, insert after ``To prevail'' the following: 
``in demonstrating that a representational, districting, or 
apportionment scheme results in vote dilution''.

  Page 3, line 22, strike ``generally politically aligned'' and 
insert ``politically cohesive''.

  Page 3, line 24, insert after ``protected class'' the 
following: ``usually''.

  Page 4, line 9, strike ``The extent the history'' and 
inserting ``The extent of any history''.

  Page 4, line 11, insert before the period at the end the 
following: ``that affected the right of members of the 
protected class to register, to vote, or otherwise to 
participate in the political process''.

  Page 4, beginning on line 20, strike ``prohibitions against 
bullet-voting, and majority vote requirements'' and insert 
``majority vote requirements, anti-single shot provisions, or 
other qualifications, prerequisites, standards, practices, or 
procedures that may enhance the opportunity for discrimination 
against the members of the protected class''.

  Page 5, beginning on line 3, strike ``in such areas as 
education, employment, and health'' and insert ``, both public 
or private, in such areas as education, employment, health, 
housing, and transportation''.

  Page 5, line 20, insert after ``the particularized needs of 
the members of the protected class'' the following: ``, 
including a lack of concern for or responsiveness to the 
requests and proposals of the members of the protected class, 
except that compliance with a court order may not be considered 
evidence of responsiveness on the part of the jurisdiction''.

  Page 5, line 24, insert after ``practice or procedure is 
tenuous.'' the following:

        ``In making this determination, a court shall consider 
        whether the qualification, prerequisite, standard, 
        practice, or procedure in question was designed to 
        advance and materially advances a valid and 
        substantiated State interest.''.

  Page 6, strike line 8 and all that follows through line 15, 
and insert the following:

  ``(c)(1) A violation of subsection (a) resulting in vote 
denial or abridgment is established if the challenged 
qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure--
          ``(A) results or will result in members of a 
        protected class facing greater costs or burdens in 
        participating in the political process than other 
        voters; and''.

  Page 6, line 16 , strike ``difficulty is'' and insert ``costs 
or burdens are''.

  Page 6, insert after line 20 the following:

        ``In determining the existence of a burden for purposes 
        of subparagraph (A), the absolute number or the percent 
        of voters affected or the presence of voters who are 
        not members of a protected class in the affected area 
        shall not be dispositive, and the affected area may be 
        smaller than the jurisdiction to which the 
        qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or 
        procedure applies.''.

  Page 6, line 23, strike ``burden'' and insert ``result''.

  Page 6, line 24, strike ``a pre-existing burden'' and insert 
``pre-existing burdens or costs''.

  Page 7, line 5, insert ``extent of any'' before ``history''.

  Page 7, line 6, insert before the period at the end the 
following: ``that affected the right of members of the 
protected class to register, to vote, or otherwise to 
participate in the political process''.

  Page 7, line 15, strike ``may''.

  Page 7, beginning on line 19, strike ``in areas such as 
education, employment, and health,'' and insert ``, both public 
or private, in areas such as education, employment, health, 
housing, and transportation,''.

  Page 8, line 8, insert ``, including a lack of concern for or 
responsiveness to the requests and proposals of the group, 
except that compliance with a court order may not be considered 
evidence of responsiveness on the part of the jurisdiction'' 
before the period at the end.

  Page 8, line 12, insert ``In making a determination under 
this clause, a court shall consider whether the qualification, 
prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure in question was 
designed to advance and materially advances a valid and 
substantiated State interest.'' after the period at the end.

  Page 9, strike lines 1 through 4 and redesignate succeeding 
subparagraphs accordingly.

  Page 9, line 21, strike `` A prophylactic'' and all that 
follows through line 24, and insert the following: 
``Unsubstantiated defenses that the qualification, 
prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure is necessary to 
address criminal activity.''.

  Page 10, strike lines 1 through 2.

  Page 11, line 6, insert after ``subsection (b) or (c).'' the 
following:

  ``(e) For purposes of this section, the term `affected area' 
means any geographic area, in which members of a protected 
class are affected by a qualification, prerequisite, standard, 
practice, or procedure allegedly in violation of this section, 
within a State (including any Indian lands).''.

   Page 11, strike line 7 and all that follows through line 20, 
and insert the following:

SEC. 3. RETROGRESSION.

  Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 
et seq.), as amended by section 2 of this Act, is further 
amended by adding at the end the following:
  ``(f) A violation of subsection (a) is established when a 
State or political subdivision enacts or seeks to administer 
any qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, 
practice, or procedure with respect to voting in any election 
that has the purpose of or will have the effect of diminishing 
the ability of any citizens of the United States on account of 
race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth 
in section 4(f)(2), to participate in the electoral process or 
elect their preferred candidates of choice. This subsection 
applies to any action taken on or after January 1, 2021, by a 
State or political subdivision to enact or seek to administer 
any such qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, 
practice or procedure.
  ``(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f), final 
decisions of the United States District Court of the District 
of Columbia on applications or petitions by States or political 
subdivisions for preclearance under section 5 of any changes in 
voting prerequisites, standards, practices, or procedures, 
supersede the provisions of subsection (f).''.

  Page 15, line 24, insert ``serious'' before ``question''.

  Page 18, line 17, insert after ``State'' the following: ``or 
subdivision''.

  Page 22, insert after line 13 the following:

  (c) Administrative Bailout.--
          (1) In general.--Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act 
        of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10303) is amended by adding at the 
        end the following:
  ``(g) Administrative Bailout.--
          ``(1) Determination of eligibility.--
                  ``(A) In general.--After making a 
                determination under subsection (b)(1)(A) that 
                the provisions of subsection (a) apply with 
                respect to a State and all political 
                subdivisions within the State, the Attorney 
                General shall determine if any political 
                subdivision of the State is eligible for an 
                exemption under this subsection, and shall 
                publish, in the Federal Register, a list of all 
                such political subdivisions. Any political 
                subdivision included on such list is not 
                subject to any requirement under section 5 
                until the date on which any application under 
                this section has been finally disposed of or no 
                such application may be made.
                  ``(B) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this 
                subsection may be construed to provide--
                          ``(i) that the determinations made 
                        pursuant to the creation of the list 
                        shall have any binding or preclusive 
                        effect; or
                          ``(ii) that inclusion on the list--
                                  ``(I) constitutes a final 
                                determination by the Attorney 
                                General that the listee is 
                                eligible for an exemption 
                                pursuant to this subsection or 
                                that, in the case of the 
                                listee, the provisions of 
                                subparagraphs (A) through (F) 
                                of subsection (a)(1) are 
                                satisfied; or
                                  ``(II) entitles the listee to 
                                any exemption pursuant to this 
                                subsection.
          ``(2) Eligibility.--A political subdivision that 
        submits an application under paragraph (3) shall be 
        eligible for an exemption under this subsection only 
        if, during the ten years preceding the filing of the 
        application, and during the pendency of such 
        application--
                  ``(A) no test or device referred to in 
                subsection (a)(1) has been used within such 
                political subdivision for the purpose or with 
                the effect of denying or abridging the right to 
                vote on account of race or color or in 
                contravention of the guarantees of subsection 
                (f)(2);
                  ``(B) no final judgment of any court of the 
                United States, other than the denial of 
                declaratory judgment under this section, has 
                determined that denials or abridgements of the 
                right to vote on account of race or color have 
                occurred anywhere in the territory of such 
                political subdivision or that denials or 
                abridgements of the right to vote in 
                contravention of the guarantees of subsection 
                (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory 
                of such subdivision and no consent decree, 
                settlement, or agreement has been entered into 
                resulting in any abandonment of a voting 
                practice challenged on such grounds; and no 
                declaratory judgment under this section shall 
                be entered during the pendency of an action 
                commenced before the filing of an action under 
                this section and alleging such denials or 
                abridgements of the right to vote;
                  ``(C) no Federal examiners or observers under 
                this Act have been assigned to such political 
                subdivision;
                  ``(D) such political subdivision and all 
                governmental units within its territory have 
                complied with section 5 of this Act, including 
                compliance with the requirement that no change 
                covered by section 5 has been enforced without 
                preclearance under section 5, and have repealed 
                all changes covered by section 5 to which the 
                Attorney General has successfully objected or 
                as to which the United States District Court 
                for the District of Columbia has denied a 
                declaratory judgment;
                  ``(E) the Attorney General has not interposed 
                any objection (that has not been overturned by 
                a final judgment of a court) and no declaratory 
                judgment has been denied under section 5, with 
                respect to any submission by or on behalf of 
                the plaintiff or any governmental unit within 
                its territory under section 5, and no such 
                submissions or declaratory judgment actions are 
                pending; and
                  ``(F) such political subdivision and all 
                governmental units within its territory--
                          ``(i) have eliminated voting 
                        procedures and methods of election 
                        which inhibit or dilute equal access to 
                        the electoral process;
                          ``(ii) have engaged in constructive 
                        efforts to eliminate intimidation and 
                        harassment of persons exercising rights 
                        protected under this Act; and
                          ``(iii) have engaged in other 
                        constructive efforts, such as expanded 
                        opportunity for convenient registration 
                        and voting for every person of voting 
                        age and the appointment of minority 
                        persons as election officials 
                        throughout the jurisdiction and at all 
                        stages of the election and registration 
                        process.
          ``(3) Application period.--Not later than 90 days 
        after the publication of the list under paragraph (1), 
        a political subdivision included on such list may 
        submit an application, containing such information as 
        the Attorney General may require, for an exemption 
        under this subsection. The Attorney General shall 
        provide notice in the Federal Register of such 
        application.
          ``(4) Comment period.--During the 90-day period 
        beginning on the date that notice is published under 
        paragraph (3), the Attorney General shall give 
        interested persons an opportunity to submit objections 
        to the issuance of an exemption under this subsection 
        to a political subdivision on the basis that the 
        political subdivision is not eligible under paragraph 
        (2) to the Attorney General. During the 1 year period 
        beginning on the effective date of this subsection, 
        such 90-day period shall be extended by an additional 
        30 days. The Attorney General shall notify the 
        political subdivision of each objection submitted and 
        afford the political subdivision an opportunity to 
        respond.
          ``(5) Determination as to objections.--In the case of 
        a political subdivision with respect to which an 
        objection has been submitted under paragraph (4), the 
        following shall apply:
                  ``(A) Consideration of objections.--The 
                Attorney General shall consider and respond to 
                each such objection (and any response of the 
                political subdivision thereto) during the 60 
                day period beginning on the day after the 
                comment period under paragraph (4) concludes.
                  ``(B) Justified objections.--If the Attorney 
                General determines that any such objection is 
                justified, the Attorney General shall publish 
                notice in the Federal Register denying the 
                application for an exemption under this 
                subsection.
                  ``(C) Unjustified objections.--If the 
                Attorney General determines that no objection 
                submitted is justified, each person that 
                submitted such an objection may, not later than 
                90 days after the end of the period established 
                under subparagraph (A), file, in the District 
                Court of the District of Columbia, an action 
                for judicial review of such determination in 
                accordance with chapter 7 of title 5, United 
                States Code.
          ``(6) Exemption.--The Attorney General may issue an 
        exemption, by publication in the Federal Register, from 
        the application of the provisions of subsection (a) 
        with respect to a political subdivision that--
                  ``(A) is eligible under paragraph (2); and
                  ``(B) with respect to which no objection 
                under was submitted under paragraph (4) or 
                determined to be justified under paragraph (5).
          ``(7) Judicial review.--Except as otherwise 
        explicitly provided in this subsection, no 
        determination under this subsection shall be subject to 
        review by any court, and all determinations under this 
        subsection are committed to the discretion of the 
        Attorney General.
          ``(8) Savings clause.--If a political subdivision was 
        not subject to the application of the provisions of 
        subsection (a) by reason of a declaratory judgment 
        entered prior to the effective date of this subsection, 
        and such political subdivision has not violated any 
        eligibility requirement set forth in paragraph (2) at 
        any time thereafter, then that political subdivision 
        shall not be subject to the requirements of subsection 
        (a).''.
          (2) Conforming amendment.--
                  (A) In general.--Section 4(a)(1) of the 
                Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 
                10303(a)(1)), as amended by this Act, is 
                further amended by inserting after ``the United 
                States District Court for the District of 
                Columbia issues a declaratory judgment under 
                this section'' the following: ``, or, in the 
                case of a political subdivision, the Attorney 
                General issues an exemption under subsection 
                (g)''.
                  (B) Expiration of time limit.--On the date 
                that is 1 year after the effective date of this 
                subsection, section 4(g)(3) of the Voting 
                Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10303(g)(3)) is 
                amended by striking ``During the 1 year period 
                beginning on the effective date of this 
                subsection, such 90-day period shall be 
                extended by an additional 30 days.''. For 
                purposes of any periods under such section 
                commenced as of such date, the 90-day period 
                shall remain extended by an additional 30 days.

  Page 47, line 13, insert ``serious'' before ``question''. 

     PART B--TEXT OF AMENDMENT TO H. RES. 595 CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED

  Page 1, line 3, strike ``September 28'' and insert 
``September 27''.

                                  
                                  
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