Frist, in a switch, moves Voting Right Act just in time for Bush

Friday, he wasn't in any hurry. But with the president speaking before the NAACP today, the Senate majority leader is on the case now.

Published July 20, 2006 3:26PM (EDT)

Timing is everything. When renewal of the Voting Rights Act finally made it through the House of Representatives Friday -- Republican opposition and infighting had delayed a floor vote -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist seemed to be in little hurry to get the measure to the Senate floor. He told reporters that the Senate would deal with the bill "this year for sure," but he couldn't say whether it would be sometime this month or after the Senate returns from its August recess.

And what have we here? The president is speaking before the NAACP today, and Democrats are pushing the group to push him on the Voting Rights Act renewal. And just like that, the renewal legislation is on the Senate floor and headed for approval this afternoon. Standing with NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon yesterday, Frist said: "We expect to begin floor debate on this bill tonight, and hopefully complete it with votes sometime tomorrow."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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