WASHINGTON - Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) opened today's Full Committee Mark-up of legislation to prevent noncitizen voting and foreign influence in our elections.

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Chairman Steil's full opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Before we begin, I’d like to recognize one of our colleagues who is not here today—Dr. Murphy.

This week, he announced he was diagnosed with a base of skull tumor.

All of us know Dr. Murphy is a fighter.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say we are all keeping Dr. Murphy in our thoughts and prayers.

We wish him a speedy recovery and are looking forward to seeing him back on this dais with us soon.

Today we will consider legislation to stop foreign influence in our elections, prevent noncitizen voting, and strengthen our election administration.

Over the past several months, this Committee has examined different pieces of legislation that would increase confidence in our elections.

When Americans are more confident their elections are secure, they’re more likely to participate.

As Chairman of this Committee, my focus has been on increasing confidence and participation in our elections.

Last week, we held a hearing focused on noncitizen voting and foreign influence in our elections.

Witnesses discussed the difficulties the National Voter Registration Act can place on States and the challenges States have in maintaining clean voter rolls.

We also demonstrated how foreign nationals are trying to influence our elections.

Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from contributing to campaigns.

Yet we continue to see foreign nationals use loopholes to get around this.

We will consider legislation today to address this issue.

My legislation, the Preventing Foreign Interference in American Elections Act, would close these loopholes and strengthen donor privacy provisions.

We will also consider legislation to help States keep clean voter rolls and to prevent noncitizen voting.

Noncitizens voting in our elections must be stopped.

You may hear my colleagues say, “noncitizen voting in federal elections is already illegal.”

But as we discussed in last week’s hearing, there have been noncitizens registered to vote in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Here in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Council passed legislation to allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections.

And noncitizens will be voting this fall.

The D.C. Board of Elections recently confirmed that nearly 500 noncitizens have registered to vote, and that number is only growing!

Early voting for D.C.’s Primary Election is happening right now, as we sit here today, and noncitizens are voting to elect members of the D.C. Council. This is absurd.

We must do two things.

One: We cannot allow D.C.’s noncitizen voting law to spread across the United States.

Two: We need to ensure noncitizens aren’t voting in federal elections across the United States.

While it’s illegal today for noncitizens to vote in our federal elections, it’s also illegal to evade border patrol officers and unlawfully enter our country.

As we've seen, that hasn’t stopped anyone.

We must end noncitizen voting now.

It is critical that we provide States the tools they need to verify citizenship for individuals registering to vote.

As we discussed last week in this committee, it is difficult for States to maintain clean voter rolls.

Last week, Ohio found 137 noncitizen voters on their voter rolls.

In May of 2023, Virginia removed 1,481 noncitizens from their voter rolls.

Across the country, Democrat-jurisdictions are allowing noncitizens to vote in their elections.

This will continue to create challenges for States in maintaining clean voter rolls unless we stop noncitizen voting.

The Constitution and federal law only protects the rights of citizens of the United States to vote in U.S. elections.

That’s why only U.S. citizens should be voting in U.S. elections.

I look forward to a thoughtful discussion on the legislation before us today, and I yield back.