Davis's MTR Gives Democrats Another Chance to Remove Public Funding of Congressional Campaigns from H.R. 1
Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today offered a Motion to Recommit to instruct the Committee on House Administration to consider an amendment to remove all public financing from H.R. 1.
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Davis's remarks delivered on the House floor:
Thank you, Madam Speaker, over the last couple of days, I have spoken a lot about my opposition to this bill's creation of a public fund filled with dollars from corporate finance to directly fund the campaign coffers of every member of this institution and candidates.
And my Democratic colleagues who continue to say this is not public funding or corporate donations because it is corporate fines. So what is the truth? I think my chart here tells a story...
So we have corporate fines, that's corporate dollars - something that we as members of Congress our campaigns cannot accept right now - those corporate dollars that pay these corporate fines that we set the levels of in this institution, they then go to the U.S. government in this new fund, that H.R. 1 creates, the Freedom from Influence Fund...
But it is really a laundering machine. So they launder that money, that corporate money that we cannot accept right now, into the Treasury then it comes out "clean" as public money. It's money that used to be used for things like Crime Victims Funds...
But instead, this new laundered money, this taxpayer money, because it's public, it's under the control of us, then goes out exponentially to all of us, to our campaigns to pay for attack ads, fundraisers, mailers, phone calls, whatever you want.
But either way, it's government spending -- government spending, corporate dollars directly to us. This is and should be prohibited.
But H.R. 1 changes that. It puts more money into politics and not less.
How about the Crime Victims Fund? How about victims of domestic violence get these dollars? Let's make sure that we address programs that deal with sexual assault, child abuse and other crimes. They want this. Money will not go into the victims of crimes fund because it is going to all of us.
All 50 state attorney generals have told us that this vital Crime Victims Fund is nearly depleted, but instead of plussing it up, here we are today funding our own campaigns with a yes vote.
This bill isn't for the people. It's for the politicians.
This is why I am offering a Motion to Recommit so that we can put forward a bill that works for the American people. Madam Speaker, if we adopt this Motion to Recommit, we will instruct the Committee on House administration to consider an amendment to remove all public financing from this legislation. I ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record immediately prior to the vote on the Motion to Recommit?
[Chair: Without objection]
It's one reason I am opposed to H.R. 1 and giving Democrats another chance to join me in stopping this charade -- stopping enriching themselves and their own campaign. This is one last chance before you do it again.
Another reason I oppose H.R. 1 is because the election mandates on states in this bill go against what our Founding Fathers intended and essentially nationalizes our election system. If signed into law, H.R. one would be the greatest expansion of the federal government's role in our elections than we have ever seen.
By moving these decisions to D.C., we are further removing people from the laws that govern their elections. People should have more say in how their elections are run, not less.
Our goal is to always ensure all eligible voters are able to vote and all lawful votes are counted. That's not what H.R. 1 does. And the only witness who has run an election before said, during the single House administration hearing held on this bill, that H.R. 1 will undermine many of the election laws states have put in place to make it easier for people to vote and improve their election process for their voters.
One-size-fits-all mandates from Washington will not solve the problems we've seen in elections across the country, they will just cause more chaos and confusion. These issues need to be solved at the local and state level.
Instead of dictating to states, we should be working with them and localities to address these issues. And I stand ready and willing to work with my Democratic colleagues to do just that...
But I will not vote for a federal takeover of elections. I will not vote to use the federal government to put more money into my campaign. It's bad policy. It's bad for the American people.
I urge support for the Motion to Recommit at the appropriate time, a no vote on the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.