As we told you, H.R. 1 – otherwise known as “For the People Act” – was introduced to push a federal takeover of the U.S. voting systems. This 800-page bill would make permanent some of the worst election administration changes from 2020 that were implemented during the unique challenges of the pandemic. It would make those changes mandatory – in every state. Sen. Joe Manchin, whose vote is crucial to get this bill passed, announced his opposition to H.R. 1 and his opposition to ending the legislative filibuster. However, this doesn’t mean that this bill or a similar bill won’t be passed.
Sen. Manchin explained his decision to not support H.R. 1:
Voting is the bedrock of our democracy. Open, fair, secured voting. We used to go around the world and explain and show and observe voting procedures in a democracy. And now if we can’t practice what we preach, we are going to basically do an overhaul, an 800-page overhaul of the voting rights . . . I think there’s a lot of great things in that piece of legislation, but there’s an awful lot of things that basically don’t pertain directly to voting.
Our legal and Legislative Affairs teams did a deep dive into this bill. Some of the most egregious provisions of H.R. 1 include:
H.R. 1 would implement a 6:1 funding match for congressional or presidential campaigns. This is six times the impact with your federal tax dollars. If a donor contributes $200 to a campaign, this means the federal government will match it at $1,200. Under this legislation, this would mean your tax dollars would support a candidate you don’t want to get elected.
Another frightening aspect of this bill is mandating ethics standards for the Supreme Court. This is not the job of the U.S. Senate. Their job is to confirm nominees to the Supreme Court. That ends their role. This is just another power grab attempt by the Left to control all aspects of government.
To take it a step further, another provision is to put forth the same voting protocols that were rushed in 2020 and codify them into law, permanently, and mandate them on every state. All of the issues that we saw in the last election that undermined trust from the American people in our election process would become mandatory. Examples are expanding mail-in voting without safeguards to protect ballot integrity, legalizing ballot harvesting, and disregarding voter ID laws – making it even harder for Americans to be confident in the results of elections.
Additionally, this legislation would politicize the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This six-member commission would establish a new “Speech Czar” making it a partisan commission instead of its current bipartisan makeup. A Speech Czar would be responsible for regulating politics in the U.S. and policing free speech which could be used as another tool for the Left to stay in power.
Next, H.R. 1 would permit the IRS to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status. This weaponizes the IRS to once again go after conservative groups. We’ve already fought the IRS’s targeting of conservatives and won. The idea that an individual or a group's political views should be one of the rubrics that the IRS would be allowed to look through to determine your tax status is shocking.
And to top it all off, this bill would mandate states to disregard state voter identification laws and provisional ballot rules. This would allow sworn statements and signature verification which can be submitted through a photo online. Also, this would force states to count provisional ballots cast outside of the voter’s actual precinct. Once again, all practices that could potentially skew the accuracy of the results.
These are just some of the most concerning provisions in the bill. Throughout the 800 other pages, there are many other significant issues. But Sen. Manchin’s issues with H.R. 1 are not even with the issues mentioned above. So, this bill is something to watch very carefully because the fight is not over yet.
At the ACLJ, we believe voting is your constitutional right and a civic duty. We’re dedicated to protecting your right to vote and defending the integrity of our elections.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of H.R.1 and Sen. Manchin’s view on this legislation.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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