In today's markup of House Resolution 1, the House Committee on Administration defeated on party-line votes all amendments offered by the three Republican members to attempt to fix problems with the bill. The RNLA live-tweeted the markup, and here are some highlights (or, lowlights):
Rep. Davis at #HR1 hearing: Greatest threat to our nation's election system is partisanship. HR 1 was drafted to serve interests of Dems and liberal outside organizations, without consultation with Republicans or election officials or administrators. https://t.co/1qb3SjrcjD— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. Davis at #HR1 markup: We should absolutely try to increase access to the polls, but without protections, only opening elections to fraud. In competitive districts, every vote makes a difference & changes without safeguards take away voice of voters. https://t.co/1qb3SjrcjD— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. Davis says he's glad that Rep. Lofgren thinks the bill will be marked up in other committees and will have CBO report prior to voting on floor because Speaker Pelosi said the vote would happen by the end of the month.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. Loudermilk notes that Dems have not reached out to state and local election officials for their feedback on legislation that could affect every voter in the country.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. @RodneyDavis agrees - shows how bill is being rushed and it's drafted by Washington insiders without consideration to rest of the country. Would #HR1 require election officials to undertake massive infrastructure projects to meet its unrealistic requirements for rural areas?— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
.@RepLoudermilk says mandate for signature verification is big problem with this provision. Opens door to fraud and disenfranchisement while taking away more accurate means of verifying identity currently used by states.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
As House Admin markup goes to recess, @RodneyDavis summarized fundamental problem with #HR1. Not actually about making elections better but about Dems' and liberal organizations' political messaging. https://t.co/0HSjJUE8Ek— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. Fudge says this is about a constitutional right, to vote. Rep. Loudermilk says yes, that is why it is so important to ensure that only eligible voters vote, because the right to vote is so important.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. Loudermilk says Dems' opposition to ballot harvesting amendment boils down to it being ok in a Democrat state but not ok in a Republican state.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Ballot harvesting should be an easy area of bipartisan agreement. Republicans and Democrats agree that NC-9 was terrible. Republicans want to stop it from happening again; Democrats want to allow it to happen.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Rep. @RodneyDavis points out that #HR1 is supposed to remove special interests and money from politics, but irony is that it was written by and benefits special interests and will vastly increase money, including taxpayer money, in political system.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
House Admin Dems just unanimously defeated an amendment to insert their 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Secure Elections Act into #HR1. Shows how radical HR 1 is and that Dems aren't willing to change.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
.@RepLoudermilk introduces #HR1 amendment to remove 6:1 small dollar donor match=government subsidy for politicians. Would require people to finance campaigns of politicians they disagree with. People don't want to give politicians more money; already distrust politicians & DC.— RNLA (@TheRepLawyer) February 26, 2019
Two moments in the hearing were particularly telling. First, the Democrats unanimously opposed an amendment to prohibit ballot harvesting, despite the national attention currently focused on how ballot harvesting can exploit voters due what happened in North Carolina CD-9. HR 1 is intent on creating federal mandates and federal standards for nearly every aspect of elections, but the Democrats were unwilling to change the bill to prohibit a practice that is legal in California and brings them an electoral advantage. Second, the Democrats unanimously opposed adding Sen. Klobuchar's Secure Elections Act to HR 1 and even criticized the legislation, which has been touted by many Democrats as an important tool needed to help secure elections. This shows how radical HR 1 truly is and how unwilling House Democrats are to compromise or consider any other views on their flagship legislation.
In the end, the House Admin Democrats voted to adopt Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren's 447-page amendment in the nature of a substitute and report the bill favorably to the House floor. House Admin is currently the only committee of the ten with jurisdiction to have held or scheduled a markup. It remains to be seen whether Chair Lofgren's prediction that normal process, including time for fiscal analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, will be followed with HR 1 or whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi's promise of a vote by the end of February is what will actually happen. But at least for now, though some Democrats clearly have misgivings about some of HR 1's provisions, they are remaining in lockstep in support of this dangerous legislation.