HR 1

On Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the “For the People” Act, which federalizes state election law and undermines key safeguards such as voter ID.

The bill passed 220-210, with every Republican voting against it (and two not voting) and every Democrat but one voting for it.

This kind of rank partisanship on an elections bill should worry Americans, and so should the specifics of what the bill does.

H.R. 1 requires states to allow any eligible voter to vote by mail in federal elections, a practice that is inherently less secure than in-person voting. The bill also requires states to allow any eligible voter to use ballot drop-boxes of the kind that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) financed in the 2020 election, likely driving up turnout in blue areas. H.R. 1 also mandates that states accept ballots that arrive in the mail up to 10 days after Election Day, so long as they had been postmarked on or before Election Day, echoing a controversial practice in Pennsylvania in 2020.

The bill creates a nationwide automatic voter registration program, which would likely result in double-registrations and the registration of non-citizens. In fact, H.R. 1 explicitly exempts from prosecution people who are “not eligible to vote in elections for Federal office but [were] automatically registered to vote” (Sec. 1015).

It allows felons who have completed their incarceration to vote.

H.R. 1 also includes a new program providing for public financing of federal elections, matching small-dollar donations 6 to 1. The match would kick in for each grassroots contribution to a candidate up to $200. A $200 donation to a House candidate would garner a $1,200 match in public funds for a total contribution of $1,400, for example.

The bill would reduce the number of members on the Federal Election Commission from 6 to 5. Democrats argue that this will allow the commission to avoid deadlock and do its job, but Republicans warn that this would make the FEC a “partisan weapon.”

The bill would also require politically-active organizations, including 401(c)3 nonprofits, to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more; expand the definition of election-related communication; and reduce the influence of independent expenditure-only “super PACs.” Such campaign finance regulations would limit Americans’ ability to band together to advocate political causes they believe in.

While Democrats’ railing against “dark money” has convinced Americans there is something inherently sleazy about groups of Americans spending money to advocate for causes they believe in, Americans do not lose their right to free speech when they enter the political arena. The mandated disclosure of an organization’s donors, in particular, undercuts this fundamental right.

“It is beyond debate that the freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” The Supreme Court wrote in the landmark case NAACP v. Alabama (1958). The State of Alabama had ordered the NAACP to hand over a list of its members during the era of segregation when the Ku Klux Klan held tremendous power in the state. The Supreme Court defended the NAACP from this government harassment.

“Tonight the House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that tramples on the free speech and free association rights of American citizens,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Zack Pruitt said after the bill passed.

“Throughout its nearly 800 pages of complex and convoluted text, H.R. 1 imposes unworkable and invasive regulations on the ability of individual Americans and groups of citizens to discuss vital policy issues with elected officials or the public and to exercise constitutionally protected freedoms,” Pruitt explained. “The bill intrudes upon the private financial decisions made by everyday citizens, subjecting them to harassment and intimidation simply for giving to causes they care about.”

“Despite being called the ‘For the People Act,’ it is anything but that, as the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that ‘the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail.’ We hope the Senate will see through this façade and reject this misleading and deeply flawed bill,” he concluded.

After the irregularities of the 2020 election raised serious concerns about election integrity — and after the Time story confessing to a “cabal” in the 2020 election — Democrats are foisting a partisan makeover of election law on the American people that will only worsen concerns about election integrity.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. There is a scifi series where the oligarchy leaders always say “for the people”, usually just before they pull another heinous stunt.

    • 2020-21 are definitely some sort of sci-fi. It makes it difficult for novelists, like myself to make shit up. Everything is — real. Come up with some sort of crazy plan for everyone to switch genders? The Donkeys say, “hold my beer.”

    • “The Lost Fleet” and “The Lost Stars” series by Jack Campbell (pen name of LCDR John Hemry, USN, Ret.) for those not in the know. I assume Frank has read the books. I generally liked them, and am curious what was the author’s thought process in designing the antagonist polities of The Alliance and The Syndicate.

      I quite liked Hemry’s “Paul Sinclair” (JAG in space) series about a very junior officer on the OSWO [1] track getting caught up in a series of legal capers in a near-er future US Space Navy. I thought the books actually teach important lessons on how to be an effective medical intern and resident [2]. I’m curious what actual officers think.

      [1] OSWO: open-space warfare officer. Heh.
      [2] I have the strong suspicion being a medical intern has lots of parallels with being an ensign or a 2LT. You have book/classroom knowledge and are technically in charge, but you’re in charge of people with a hell of a lot more experience than you.

  2. 1st – Seize power using last minute fraudulent voting rules, planting a Potted Plant behind the Resolute Desk to sign whatever you place in front of him.
    2nd- Impose similar national voting laws/rules to maintain said seized power, to be signed by the aforementioned Potted Plant. (“What am I doing here?” Joe will be toast once they have all the pieces in place.)
    3rd- Control half the population (aka opposition who support the Constitution) by whatever methods they can conjure up.
    4th- Never relinquish power by removing Constitutional controls.

    Like I said, good at the corrupt long game. Every last one of them would have been hanged in our Founders time.

    • They don’t know precisely what to do, but the first move was to move infantry into the capitol. Sort of a Hunger Games move. There is also the problem that the nation will simply ignore what they say, propaganda ministry notwithstanding.

      • Coup’s rarely look as such when viewed from this end, but to the hopeful, make no mistake it is one. I see it clear as day. The election theft was one indicator, flagrant disregard for the Constitution has been another, and the NG and fencing is clear something is up. The NG ought to walk off.

        I ask myself what’s next?

  3. ANY bill that has a “name” can now be counted on to do EXACTLY the opposite of whatever its name claims.

    The left stole the 2020 election. They didn’t even TRY to hide that fact. Now they intend to make it IMPOSSIBLE for
    “we the people” to remove them from power….at least not via the ballot box. and once again they really aren’t even trying to hide what tht are doing. So far NOTHING has happened to any of them to give them any reason to care
    what we know, think or wish. And until that fact changes they fully intend to continue their crime spree.

    • Every single one, Linda, but, only posthumously……

      “We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.” Quintus Arrius in Ben-Hur

  4. We’re screwed. These a$$holes in the Democrat Party are doing everything possible to ensure that only they can be elected to office. If a conservative opponent uses these laws as written they will be prosecuted for something (hey, they make the law up as they go). In Commiefornica, the Democrats tried to use the law against Republicans even though Republicans were doing exactly what Democrats were doing in setting out ballot collection boxes.

    Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man has got it correct, all of this will eventually go very obviously kinetic at some point. The Democrats keep pushing everyone else’s buttons trying to make it sooner but they haven’t yet pushed hard enough. Like the belief that this past Thursday there was going to be some sort of uprising in Washington D.C. that didn’t occur.

  5. I could have sworn that the Constitution gives the States the power to decide how the vote proceeds within their borders.

    -Kle.

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