Only Hearing Reveals H.R. 1 is Unworkable for Election Administrators, Violates Free Speech, and Publicly Funds Congressional Campaigns

Feb 26, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Republicans, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), and Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.), reveal H.R. 1 is unworkable for election administrators, violates free speech, and publicly funds congressional campaigns during the only committee hearing on H.R. 1 before the bill heads to the floor next week.

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Davis discusses how this would negatively impact the ability of local election officials to adapt and make changes to help ensure they have election procedures in place that work best for their voters.

“The only witness to have ever administered an election before testified that this bill would be detrimental for states and counties who are charged with administering elections,” said Davis. “Mr. Hatch noted that this bill would not only be incredibly costly to states and localities, but would also undermine many of policies they are putting in place to improve their election process for their voters. I share Mr. Hatch’s concerns and believe mandating one-size-fits-all election policies on states could make it more difficult for people to vote. We should be hearing from other election administrators across the country before this bill ever gets a vote on the House floor.”

“As an omnibus bill, H.R. 1 includes several of examples of best practices already in place in many states and counties. However, in other cases, mandating the best practices from another state would detract from and possibly replace work that has already gone into creating voter-centric practices based on a different model. Several provisions also could place burdensome mandates on processes that, in some states, are carried out at the local jurisdiction level. Specifically, local elections officials are concerned that, if enacted, provisions within H.R. 1 would be problematic,” wrote Ricky Hatch, County Clerk/Auditor, Weber County, Utah.

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Loudermilk discusses with witness, Stacey Abrams, Founder and Chair of Fair Fight Action, about her successful efforts to change voting laws at the state and local level thus further highlighting how this federal legislation is unnecessary. He also notes Abrams failure to concede her 2018 run for governor.

“H.R.1 is an 800 page bill that strips the Constitutional authority for managing elections away from the states, and imposes unbelievable centralized federal control over our nation’s elections; but the Democrats don’t want the American people to know what’s in it," said Loudermilk. "This massive bill was, by formality, assigned to eleven different House committees; but, Democrats have only mustered one two-hour hearing - in the House’s smallest committee - and without allowing for changes or amendments, nor even having a vote on it. Quite frankly, they do not want much attention on this bill, because if the experts and the American people knew what was in it, they would be outraged. If this was such a great piece of legislation, as they claim, they would not be afraid to have public input, deliberation, or at least a committee vote on it. Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi has shown that she has no interest in following regular order, or abiding by House Rules regarding how legislation is passed. Once again, the American people are going to have a piece of legislation rammed through without anyone fully comprehending its impact.“

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Steil also highlighted the fact that none of the Democrat's witnesses have never administered an election before and the ethical issues with H.R. 1's provision to publicly fund congressional campaigns.

“We’re holding today’s hearing and we don’t have folks who have a history of administering elections at a statewide level," said Steil. "H.R. 1 allows candidates running for reelection to use federal money to run negative ads and pay political consultants. H.R. 1 is an approximately 800 page bill. I’d be remised to not express my frustration that we are not holding a markup on this bill.”

117th Congress