Nine House Republican Committee Leaders Raise Concerns on Biden Administration Directing Federal Agencies to Engage in Voting Access & Registration Activities
WASHINGTON – Today, Republican Leaders on the House Committees on Administration, Agriculture, Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Reform, Small Business, and the Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture and Financial Services and General Government, sent a letter to the Biden Administration raising concerns about its lack of constitutional and statutory authority to enact the Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, which directs federal agencies to engage in activities beyond their stated mission, including increasing government employee involvement in elections and registration activities.
As the letter states:
“We are certain you agree with us that every eligible voter who chooses to vote must have the opportunity to vote, and that every lawful vote must count, and increased voter registration and participation is a goal we share. Yet, our system requires that all our actions must comport always with the Constitution and other federal law.”
The letter continues:
“Our concerns with this Executive Order focus on the following sections: (1) Directing federal agencies to assist states with voter registration if a state requests assistance; (2) Expanding the use of vote.gov and suggesting agencies add a link to it on their websites; and (3) Proposing ways to increase federally funded government employee participation in the voting process. We are concerned that these directives go beyond the scope of each agency’s authorizing statute and mission.”
Full text of the letter is available here.
The letter was signed by: Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Subcommittee on Elections Ranking Member Bryan Steil (R-WI), Committee on Agriculture Ranking Member Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY), Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Ranking Member Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Ranking Member Steve Womack (R-AR).
On March 7, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting (E.O. 14019).
Specifically, the above signed members are concerned that Democrats continue to fundamentally misunderstand the role of the federal government in elections, as the EO states, “It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to expand access to, and education about, voter registration and election information, and to combat misinformation, in order to enable all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.” However, the Constitution gives the States the primary authority to set election law and administer elections.