McConnell: HR 1 Would "Federalize Our Nation’s Elections" & Increase DC Bureaucrats' Power

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made his first floor speech about the dangers of the House Democrats' flagship legislation, House Resolution 1 (HR 1).  He said it was only a "quick tour" and promised to come regularly to the floor to describe the problems in the lengthy "effort to rewrite the rules to favor Democrats and their friends" so that all Americans can know about the dangers of its provisions.

This sprawling, comprehensive proposal is basically the far left’s entire Christmas wish list where our nation’s political process is concerned. What would it do? It would pile new Washington D.C.-focused regulations onto virtually every aspect of how politicians are elected and what Americans can say about them. So my Democratic friends have already tried to market this unprecedented intrusion with all the predictable clichés. Quote – "restoring democracy." Quote – "for the people." Really? The only common motivation running through the whole proposal seems to be this: Democrats searching for ways to give Washington politicians more control over what Americans can say about them and how they get elected. . . .

Since Watergate, the FEC has been a six-member body and neither party gets more than three seats. Neither party. After all, this is the commission with the sensitive duty of regulating Americans’ speech about politics and campaigns themselves. The FEC should not be a weapon that one political party can wield against its rivals. But the legislation that Democrats are moving through committee would throw away that bipartisan split. It would reduce the FEC to a five-member body and -- listen to this -- let sitting presidents hand-pick their majority. Obviously this is a recipe for turning the FEC into a partisan weapon.

Democrats also empower that newly-partisan FEC to regulate more of what Americans say. That 3-to-2 FEC would get to determine what they subjectively see as ‘campaign-related’ — a new, vague category of regulated speech.  There’d also be new latitude to decide when a nonprofit’s speech has crossed that same fuzzy line and subsequently force the publication of the group’s private supporters. All this appears custom-built to chill the exercise of the First Amendment and give federal bureaucrats -- and the waiting left-wing mob -- a clearer idea of just who to intimidate. And this just scratches the surface of this proposal. House Democrats are also eyeing an expensive new set of taxpayer subsidies for political campaign consultants. . . .

Perhaps most worrisome of all is the unprecedented proposal to federalize our nation’s elections, giving Washington D.C. politicians even more control over who gets to come here in the first place. . . . Democrats want to import the inefficiencies of state and federal bureaucracy to ballot boxes and voter rolls while making it harder for states and localities to clean inaccurate data off their voter rolls, harder to remove duplicate registrations, ineligible voters, and other errors, harder to check every box Washington Democrats demand before allowing you to pick your representatives.  Provision after provision would make it easier for campaign lawyers to take advantage of disorganization, chaos, and confusion.

Thank you, Leader McConnell, for ensuring that this dangerous legislation goes nowhere in the Senate.