Conservatives Band Together Against Dems' Election Bill, Call It 'The Ultimate Fantasy of the Left'
As leading conservatives attack legislation liberals claim will reform elections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that the collection of proposals grouped under H.R. 1 will never even be debated in the Senate.
“This sprawling 622-page doorstop is never going to become law. I certainly don’t plan to even bring it to the floor here in the Senate,” McConnell said, according to The Hill.
Conservatives have said the bill is a liberal power grab, disguised as reform, and dubbed it “the ultimate fantasy of the left.”
“Conservatives are united in opposing H.R. 1, the attempt by House Democrats to fundamentally undermine the American electoral system,” reads the open letter posted on the website of the Conservative Action Project.
Among other items, the legislation would create automatic voter registration, expand early voting by federal law, endorse statehood for the District of Columbia and require independent commissions to oversee the drawing of House legislative districts rather than state legislatures, according to Politico.
It would also heighten campaign finance reporting requirements and overhaul the Federal Election Commission.
Be wary of misleading labels, warns the group of 150 conservatives who signed the petition, headlined by former Attorney General Edwin Meese.
“While they cloak the bill in terms of ‘restoring democracy’ and ‘preventing corruption,’ the legislation has one goal: to protect incumbents, at the expense of the First Amendment, federalism, and individual voter integrity,” the letter states.
“H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R. 1 in the strongest terms, and urge all conservatives to do likewise.”
McConnell was strong in his opposition to what he called a “parade of horrible” and a “terrible proposal,” Roll Call reported.
The Kentucky senator called the bill the “Democrat Politician Protection Act,” said it is “offensive to average voters,” Politico reported.
The proposal’s Federal Election Commission reform is “a hostile takeover of the body that regulates political speech,” McConnell said, according to The Daily Caller.
“Democrats aren’t after an FEC that enforces the law, they’re after an FEC that enforces their ideology,” he said.
The bill is on the fast track for approval in the Democrat-controlled House, which could come as soon as Friday.
The speed of its progress galled Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois, ranking member of the House Administration Committee.
“This bill is being pushed on us,” he said. “What this bill is, is a Democrat push to elect more Democrats.”
Conservatives say the proposal has three strikes against it — it undermines the First Amendment, supersedes state rights and converts the government from an observer of elections into an active player.
The legislation “would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs,” the letter said.
States lose power because the federal government would need to approve “changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting,” the letter said.
The bill also revamps the Federal Election Commission to give it a partisan tilt, the letter warned.
Signers of the letter include: Alfred Regnery, chairman, Conservative Action Project; Jim DeMint, former U.S. senator and president of the Heritage Foundation; David McIntosh, president, Club for Growth and former Member of Congress; Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council and Council for National Policy; L. Brett Bozell, III, president, Media Research Center; Marjorie Dannenfelser, president, Susan B. Anthony List; Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch; and Hans von Spakovsky, former Commissioner, Federal Election Commission.
Conservatives are not the only ones opposed to the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union has also opposed it, saying the legislation infringes on free speech rights.
(In the interest of full disclosure, the letter from conservatives was signed by Floyd Brown in his capacity as chairman of the America Fighting Back PAC. Brown is also the publisher of The Western Journal.)
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