Thanks to the leadership of Senators Mitch McConnell. Richard Shelby and Roy Blunt and the constant vigilance of House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats were unsuccessful in their efforts to hijack the COVID-19 relief bill for the legislative priorities on matters such as elections. But the left is not done and will undoubtedly keep fighting for their own election desires over the needs of the American people.
Two conservative leaders are hitting back hard against the Democrats' unprecedented and fortunately ultimately unsuccessful federal power grab in the recent CARES Act. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky wrote:
We always knew that liberals considered federalizing control over elections to be an important priority. We just never dreamed it was more important than fighting the coronavirus pandemic or preserving American jobs. . . .Read more
The deadlock and delay of economic relief for all Americans and emergency supplies for our nurses and doctors was in large part over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desire to mandate how elections are run. Pelosi wanted to force all states to have 15 days of early voting, same-day registration, unlimited ballot harvesting, and universal vote by mail. Fortunately federalism prevailed. As Senator Mike Lee stated:
Shame on you, Speaker Pelosi. At a time when Americans were coming together, she blew up the bipartisan coronavirus relief package for her legislative desires.
Senate spends all weekend negotiating a bipartisan deal. Agreement reached. Pelosi flies in from California, whips out her unrelated “wishlist,” and says no. Senate Democrats then vote against proceeding on a bill they negotiated.— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) March 22, 2020
Without a quorum of four commissioners, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) cannot take many official actions, which require the affirmative votes of at least four commissioners. These include taking actions in litigation, finding that a violation of the law occurred in response to a complaint, and defending the FEC's position in court. The lack of a quorum has not stopped so-called campaign finance reform groups from using the complaint and litigation process to attempt to change campaign finance law through the courts. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a motion for default judgment against the FEC, when the FEC is not legally permitted to defend itself in court at the moment. Republican Commissioner Caroline Hunter responded:Read more
Some positive actions have been taken in response to the coronavirus, including slashing the burdensome regulations that have been restricting Americans access to medical attention. President Trump used his emergency powers, and other Governors have followed suit to reduce heavy regulations.
As President Trump said today:
I have directed the FDA to eliminate outdated rules and bureaucracy so this work can proceed rapidly, quickly, and fast. we have to remove every barrier. there were a lot of barriers that were unnecessary.Read more
As states likely expand the use of mail ballots in response to the COVID-19 breakout, they need to also protect the integrity of mail ballots to prevent both the appearance of impropriety and actual fraud this November. Lawyers Democracy Fund published a study last year by current Republican federal Election Assistance Commission(EAC) Commissioner Don Palmer (before he joined the EAC), describing some of the steps needed to protect the integrity of mail ballots and improve voter confidence in mail voting:
The Justice Department is moving to drop charges against two Russian companies that were accused of funding a social media campaign to sway American public opinion during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. . . .
Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering were among three companies and 13 individuals charged in 2018 by special counsel Robert Mueller in a conspiracy to spread disinformation on social media during the 2016 presidential race. The effort was aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord in the electorate, officials said. . . .
The case was one of the signature indictments from Mueller’s two-year Russia investigation.Read more
The novel coronavirus is threatening to disrupt elections along with schools, events, travel, grocery shopping, and every other aspect of our lives outside the front door. Three states are proceeding with their presidential primaries tomorrow, with extra precautions for everyone's health, and Georgia and Louisiana have both postponed their primaries that were originally scheduled for later this month.Read more