NASA leasing bill morphs into ‘freedom to vote’ legislation

A recent bill meant to facilitate NASA raising money by leasing out underused facilities went in a most unexpected direction: expanding the right to vote.

The NASA property bill was transformed into the “Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act” under the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives, seeking to undercut Republican opposition to expanding the franchise.

The act includes provisions such as turning election day into a federal holiday, allowing same-day voter registration, expanding early voting and mail voting and allowing more types of non-photographic ID for voting, according to Business Insider.

An exterior view of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a part of which is now leased to private companies to generate revenue for NASA. (Image credit: NASA)

The House passed the bill on Thursday (Jan. 13) by a 220 to 203 vote, with each representative voting along party lines, according to SpaceNews. 



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