FLASH: Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ latest effort to rewrite America’s election and voting laws. All 50 Republicans held firm against the Democrat power grab, marking the third time this year that the bill has failed to clear a test vote.
We have our issues with the Senate’s Republican Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, but yesterday a united GOP Senate Conference, led by McConnell, took to the airwaves to
oppose the Democrats’ latest attempt to federalize elections and institutionalize the practices that led to the unprecedented fraud in the 2020 election.
SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Another week, another effort by Washington Democrats to create fake drama over a proposed election takeover that will go nowhere. Senator Schumer wants to stage another political stunt around the umpteenth iteration of the same partisan power grab that the Senate has already considered and rejected repeatedly. It is the same rotten core as Speaker Pelosi’s H.R. 1 with slightly amended window dressing. Democrats call this latest repackaging a ‘compromise,’ but it’s only a compromise among themselves. It is not a compromise for the left and the far left to discuss how much power they should grab. All the facts about voting and turnout contradict the far-left hysteria about our democracy. But this has never been about reality. Democrats have pushed the same legislative proposals after 2016, when they claimed our democracy was in crisis and needed an overhaul, and after 2020, when they switched to claiming that our democracy is unimpeachably strong if only red states would leave it alone. Democrats’ claims turn on a dime every couple of years, but somehow their desired response never changes: Giving Washington Democrats vast and unprecedented partisan power to micromanage elections across America. I understand that Democrats are concerned about their reelections. Citizens are unhappy with the never-ending series of national crises that Democrats’ policies are inflicting on their families. The solution to their unpopularity is not this obsessive quest to rewrite election law and rig the game. It is to stop ramming through terrible policies that hurt families and help China. The Senate is designed to stop bad ideas and purely partisan proposals while helping truly necessary and bipartisan bills become law. As we have shown in the recent past, the Senate is fully capable of making law in this area when actual issues need actual solutions and actual bipartisan work occurs. By contrast, there is nothing necessary or bipartisan about this naked power grab, so it will continue to go nowhere.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 10/14/2021)
LEADER McCONNELL: “What our Democratic friends have been wanting to do forever is to have the federal government takeover how elections are conducted all over America. There’s no basis for that. No basis for it whatsoever. So this latest iteration is just another example of how they would like to have the federal government takeover all state elections…. These are normal administrative provisions that our Democratic friends would like to get rid of. So it is my hope and anticipation that none of us will vote for this latest iteration of Democratic efforts to take over how every American votes all over the country.”
LEADER McCONNELL: “Let me say for the umpteenth time, going back to discussions about federalizing the way we handle elections after the 2016 election, that there is no rational basis for the federal government taking over how we conduct elections in this country…. It is a solution in search of a problem, and we will not be supporting that.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Conference, 10/19/2021)
SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): Senate Rules & Administration Committee Ranking Member: “Democracies benefit from local responsibility. One political party, however, thinks this bill will give it an electoral advantage. They have thought that for about 20 years. This is the compilation of 20 years of Democrats in the Congress thinking, what could we do to change the election law that would be helpful for us? That is where we are in this legislation. It was written by one party alone. It has been steered through Congress by one party alone.” (Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S.4566, 6/16/2021)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “I represent a state with one of the highest turnouts in the country consistently, and yet we don’t have early voting…. So, I don’t see why the federal government should impose rules on a state and preempt state laws for a state that’s doing a great job.” (The Washington Post, 9/14/2021)
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “[H]ere is the bottom line: Each State has the authority to determine the ‘times, places, and manner of holding elections.’ Where does that come from? Well, that is article I of the Constitution of the United States of America. But our Democratic colleagues insist on pushing for a one-size-fits-all mandate that turns federalism, including the Constitution itself, on its head…. [T]his Federal commandeering of State-run elections, is rife with opportunities for fraud. It mandates things like automatic voter registration and ballot drop boxes, while making it more difficult for the States to maintain accurate voter lists. It would even go so far as to make it harder for the States to remove dead voters from their rolls…. Why would Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi be pushing this takeover of State-run elections? Well, it is pretty obvious. They think that our Democratic colleagues will reap the benefits of hijacking State election laws. That is really their goal here. They want to put a thumb on the scale of future elections. They want to take power away from the voters and the States and give themselves every partisan advantage they can.” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S.4003, 6/09/2021)
HONEST ELECTIONS PROJECT: “The newly introduced “Freedom to Vote Act” is a partisan, federal takeover of elections just like past legislation …
“The bill makes it harder for states to remove ineligible voters from the rolls, replace incompetent officials, protect voters from electioneering, and to allow poll observers to monitor voting.
“Instead of allowing communities to determine the best way to run their elections, this bill forces every state, despite obvious logistical difference, to meet Washington’s arbitrary standards.
“The bill overrides the Constitution and restores voting privileges to convicted felons before they complete their sentences or pay victim restitution. The 14th Amendment expressly leaves felon voting decisions to the states.
“The legislation further undermines states’ abilities to conduct their own elections by dictating specific federal criteria for redrawing congressional districts.” (“Freedom to Cheat Act: A Partisan Federal Takeover of American Elections,” Honest Elections Project Action, 9/2021)
Senator Joni Ernst wrapped things up by pointing out the Democrats’ partisan bill would still send federal money to partisan political campaigns!
SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): “[I]n each new Congress, the bill number S. 1 is a sign of the majority’s priority legislation. It says a lot about the new Democrat majority that the bill they chose to design as S. 1 prioritizes themselves. This bill creates a Federal campaign fund to finance the expenses of candidates for Congress. Instead of addressing the important issues that are on the minds of my fellow Iowans--like the rising cost of gasoline, bread, milk, and all sorts of household goods--this bill literally takes [public] money … puts it into the campaign coffers of Washington politicians. Rather than helping to get Americans back to work, the Democrats’ top priority, again, is S. 1. Their top priority is to create a Federal jobs program for political consultants and pollsters, taxpayer-subsidized robocalls interrupting your family dinner, junk mail cluttering your mailbox, and attack ads blaring--yes--on your TV…. That is right. The bill subsidizes politicians’ campaigns--your tax dollars helping to elect politicians who oppose your values…. While the Democrats call the bill the For the People Act, a more apt title would be ‘Fund the Politicians Act.’” (Sen. Ernst, Congressional Record, S.4571, 6/16/2021)
Follow the money, said Senator Ernst, Democrats’ latest partisan bill still collects public money and then authorizes it to be distributed to political candidates:
PAGE 540: “SEC. 8111. Benefits and eligibility requirements for candidates.
The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘TITLE V—Small Dollar Financing of Elections for House of Representatives
SEC. 501. Benefits for participating candidates.
(a) In general.—If a candidate for election to the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress is certified as a participating candidate under this title with respect to an election for such office, the candidate shall be entitled to payments as provided under this title.
(b) Amount of payment.—The amount of a payment made under this title shall be equal to 600 percent of the amount of qualified small dollar contributions received by the candidate since the most recent payment made to the candidate under this title during the election cycle …” (S. 2747, 117th Congress)
PAGE 571: “SEC. 541. Source of payments.
(a) Allocations from State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund.—The amounts used to make payments to participating candidates under this title who seek office in a State shall be derived from the allocations made to the Commission with respect to the State from the State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund (hereafter referred to as the ‘Fund’) under section 8012 of the Freedom to Vote Act, as provided under section 8005(c) of such Act.” (S. 2747, 117th Congress)
PAGE 518: “SEC. 8011. State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund.
(a) Establishment.—There is established in the Treasury a fund to be known as the ‘State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund’.” (S. 2747, 117th Congress)
PAGES 521-522: “Transfers.—In a manner consistent with section 3302(b) of title 31, there shall be transferred from the General Fund of the Treasury to the State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund under section 8011 of the Freedom to Vote Act an amount equal to the amount of the assessments collected under this section.” (S. 2747, 117th Congress)
The Democrats’ third attempt at a partisan election power grab is more of the same. The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), we urge conservatives to call their Senators and Representative – tell them you oppose federalizing elections, and they should vote NO on the Manchin – Klobuchar election hijack bill.
Freedom to Vote Act
NAACP v. Alabama
For the People Act