House Democrats on Friday passed H.R. 1, the comprehensive elections, finance and ethics reform package known as the “For the People Act,” with a 234-193 party-line vote following a lively morning session.
H.R. 1 is a broad measure, encompassing a wide range of election-related reforms.
Some of the more dramatic changes include automatic voter registration, increased donor disclosure, required tax return disclosure for presidential and vice-presidential candidates and increased voting rights for felons with completed sentences.
Finally, H.R. 1 would dismantle the current six-member, Senate-confirmed bipartisan governance structure of the Federal Election Commission in favor of one Senate-confirmed chairperson and four appointees.
This might open the agency up to partisan control, according to the Institute for Free Speech.
The Trump administration, the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of other lobbying organizations have actively opposed the controversial bill.
The legislation has been dubbed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the resolution a “power grab on behalf of the people” before the vote.
In what has become a signature tactic intended to publicly force Democrat lawmakers’ hands over isolated key issues, according to Politico, Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw offered a final “motion to recommit” prior to the final vote.
The motion added language decrying the practice of illegal immigrant voting (referring specifically to San Francisco’s school board elections).
“That allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devals as the franchise and diminishes the voting power of the United States Citizens,” the motion read.
The motion failed, effectively forcing Democrats to endorse illegal immigrant voting.
Democratic Georgia Rep. John Lewis came to the floor before final passage, imploring the chamber to “come together and support a simple piece of legislation to open up the political process and let all of our people come in.”
The bill now heads to the Senate. However, it is not likely to be brought to the Senate floor, according to several recent statements by McConnell.
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