House Holds First, and Likely Only, Hearing on H.R. 4

On Monday, H.R. 4 was heard in the House Rules Committee. This will likely be the bill's only committee hearing before a vote is taken by the whole House sometime later this week. If this seems strange, it is. House Rules does not typically have jurisdiction over election issues. Yet despite this, the Committee is being used as a vehicle to add amendments to the legislation.

During the hearing, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler argued that the numerous hearings that Democrats held over the summer to discuss voting rights generally are a sufficient substitute in place of actually discussing the content of H.R. 4.

He further argued that additional hearings on H.R. 4 were unnecessary because the bill was basically the same as the previous version of the legislation. That too, of course, is not true.

And this will be even less true once amendments are added.

It is unsurprising that House Democrats want to ram H.R. 4 through the House quickly; it is just as dangerous as H.R. 1, the "Corrupt Politicians Act," was. Lawyers Democracy Fund President Tom Spencer wrote:

Major legislation like this needs careful planning and review; it requires consideration of unintended consequences and the real effect on the interests of all the states—and not just political parties. However, this appears to be another example of Washington rushing and jumping without planning where to land. 

H.R. 4 should be opposed. It is just another unnecessary, radical power grab by Democrats who are bent on passing a federal takeover of elections to make sure they never lose another election. As The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board put it:

The Senate’s theatrical push this year for H.R.1, the bill to federalize U.S. elections, was intended as a political show, since it never had the votes to pass. Part of the point was to build pressure for Democrats’ next proposal, H.R.4, also called the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The text of H.R.4 was unveiled last week, and it also deserves to die when the House votes on it this week.