With H.R. 1 scheduled to come to the House floor the first week of March, it is important to revisit just how destructive this legislation, first introduced during the 116th Congress, would be for the U.S. election system. The Committee on House Administration Republicans have exposed H.R. 1 for what it is — "a partisan and massive congressional overreach designed to keep their Democrat majority by nationalizing our elections."
The Committee on House Administration Republicans have identified the following as the top 10 most egregious provisions of H.R. 1:
1. Publicly funds campaigns with federal fines on corporations. Creates a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in a congressional or presidential campaign – meaning for every $200, the federal government will match $1,200. This funding would come from a surcharge on corporate and high taxpayer settlements with the Federal government. H.R. 1 also establishes a new voucher pilot program that grants eligible voters a $25 voucher to donate to any campaign of their choosing.
2. Nationalizes elections and centralizes administration in Washington, D.C. Oversteps the bounds established by the Constitution by impeding the states’ ability to determine their registration and voting practices, as protected under Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, and mandating ethics standards for the Supreme Court, violating the separation of powers.
3. Makes “pandemic-style” election changes permanent. In 2020, states rushed to make changes in the name of COVID-19, like expanding mail-in voting without safeguards to protect ballot integrity, which created chaos, increased irregularities, and undermined public trust in our election process. H.R. 1 makes many of these changes permanent.
4. Imposes liberal California voting methods on every state. H.R. 1 would force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws.
5. Weaponizes the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Alters the current bipartisan makeup of the sixmember commission to a partisan five-member commission and establishes a “Speech Czar”, limiting free speech and creating a partisan commission.
6. Increases vulnerability for foreign election interference. Weakens the voting system of the American people by centralizing the election system, thereby increasing its vulnerability to foreign interference, and failing to implement the necessary checks and balances regarding who can register to vote. H.R. 1 will force states to implement online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration with no safeguards.
7. Destroys the First Amendment. H.R. 1 would drastically limit free speech and impose vague standards that disadvantage all groups who wish to advocate on behalf of any legislative issue, specifically requiring them to disclose the names of donors who donate above a certain threshold.
8. Disregards state voter identification laws and provisional ballot rules. Forces states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of identification and allowing for signature verification, which can be submitted through a photo if the voter registers online. Forces states to count provisional ballots cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct.
9. Removes states’ ability to decide how their districts are drawn. Mandates the use of independent redistricting commissions for creating congressional districts, removing states’ flexibility to choose the best systems for the needs of their citizens.
10. Weaponizes Biden’s IRS. H.R. 1 permits the agency to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status.
If 2020 taught us anything, it's that election reforms are needed. But as Heritage Foundation President Kay Cole James explained earlier this month:
Unfortunately, H.R. 1 will only make the uncertainty and division over our elections grow.
Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our constitutional republic, and every citizen, no matter their political persuasion, must be able to trust the voting process and its results. Otherwise, our democratic system itself breaks down.
For every American to have the assurance that his or her vote means something—indeed, for our republic to survive—we must do better to restore confidence in our elections.
But HR 1 would make our elections less secure, making the right to vote that so many fought so long to achieve more easily lost to fraud and mismanagement. That’s the real disenfranchisement. 2/2@WashTimesOpEdhttps://t.co/Yrt7cKLL3A— Kay C. James (@KayColesJames) February 4, 2021
Click here for the House Admin Republicans' full analysis of H.R. 1.
Click here for a thorough analysis of the previous Congress' version of the bill from the Lawyers Democracy Fund.