Democrats revealed their first piece of legislation last week and set off a wave of negative reaction among conservatives.
Conservative leaders across the nation took a vocal and active stand against H.R.1, legislation that seeks to make expansive changes to the federal voting system and is being called “the ultimate fantasy of the left” by the Conservative Action Project.
The group of over 150 leaders nationwide fired off a “Memo to the Movement” on Monday in reaction to the bill introduced by Democrats last Friday.
While proposing ethics reforms and provisions for voting rights which include automatic voter registration as well as campaign finance reforms, Democrats will be fine-tuning the bill, known as the For the People Act, in committees – though it is not expected to get past a Republican-controlled Senate.
I’m leading this legislation in the Senate, because the system is broken. We must act. https://t.co/Asr6WkfDNY
— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) January 29, 2019
The Conservative Action Project announced their dissent, calling out “the attempt by House Democrats to fundamentally undermine the American electoral system,” and exposing their goal of trying “to protect incumbents, at the expense of the First Amendment, federalism, and individual voter integrity.”
The first legislation under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership is nothing short of a power grab by Democrats seeking to win the White House in 2020 even if it means violating the First Amendment, according to the conservative leaders.
The memo highlighted some of the legislation’s key proposals, including how the Federal Election Commission would be allowed to “track and catalogue” Americans in their political donations and affiliations as well as micromanaging states with a process called “preclearance.”
“America was founded on the principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system,” the memo stated, noting a proposed “600 percent government match for political donations” as well.
Other red flags in the legislation, according to the conservative leaders, force states to impose mandatory voter registration, mandate that all felons be allowed to vote, extend early voting and allow same-day voter registration which the group contends “encourages voter fraud.”
A few other portions of the bill which were highlighted in the memo, include:
• Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.
• Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.
• Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting
• Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.
• Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.
• Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.
• Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.
A long list of conservative names signed the Memo to the Movement, including former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator and president of the Heritage Foundation, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, former Ohio Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador Ken Blackwell and Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.
House Republicans slammed the Democrats’ bill with a statement from Ranking Member Doug Collins who delcared the bill “throws a strong left hook at the Constitution and expects voters to take it on the chin.”
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 29, 2019
Collins disputed the name of the bill as being for the poeple, writing that it is “not for everyday citizens.”
“This bill siphons power from state legislatures, local elected officials and voters, and it cedes power to Washington lawmakers, unelected federal judges and lawyers. This bill is, in particular, for the unelected elites. It’s for people who don’t answer directly to the voters,” the Georgia Republican added. “Contrary to its name, this bill takes power away from the people, and it does this by violating the Constitution, by trampling over both the spirit and the letter of our most foundational laws.”
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