NTF issue paper: cong194.doc. 2-21.

The Heritage Foundation Condemns HR1

BACKGROUND. Inflated and pretentious after cementing their majority, House of Representatives Socialist Democrats quickly proposed a comprehensive bill that, if passed, would forever destroy our republican form of government. This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It would permanently deprive Americans of our hallowed constitutional rights.

THE BILL. Sponsored by liberal Cong. John Sarbanes (MD.), HR 1 won the hypocritical name For the People Act. Co-sponsors are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leftist Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA.). Sarbanes claims that the impetus for his bill came from the Nov. 2020 election that he alleges saw rampant voter suppression, gerrymandering, and conservative dark money buying votes. His bill would force states to allow same day voter registration on Election Day and prevent purging dead and non-resident voters from voter rolls. The bill would add 50 million or more voters with automatic voter registration and same-day registration. Prohibits the use of returned non-forwardable mail as the basis for removing registered voters from the rolls. Limits the authority of states to remove registrants from the official list of eligible voters in elections for federal office in a state based on interstate voter registration crosschecks. Prohibits requiring a state voter to show ID to obtain a mail in ballot and permits individuals to sign a sworn statement regarding their identity instead of an official ID. States could not enact restrictions on mailed-in ballots and must provide 15 days of early voting in federal elections. The controversial vote by mail system, highly susceptible to massive fraud, expanded. Requires states to offer online registration. The bill requires every state to register voters based on names in state and federal databases, including anyone receiving food stamps or having a driver’s license, an automatic enrollment for Democrat voters and enhancement for Dem voter turnout. It would prohibit prosecution of ineligible voters for being “mistakenly registered.” Treats universities as voter registration agencies. Effectively permits voter harvesting, picking up and delivering bundles of votes, by criminalizing interfering with those “assisting others to vote.” Felons could vote unless currently incarcerated. Requires states and the federal government to notify individuals convicted of state or federal felonies of their re-enfranchisement. Ends practice of “prison gerrymandering” by counting incarcerated persons in their former places of residence.

OTHER PROVISIONS. Republicans won big in state legislatures in the 2020 elections, which means they should draw most congressional district boundaries for the next decade.  Under HR 1, commissions controlled by Socialist Democrats would redraw congressional districts that would favor their party. The bill would require political groups to disclose big contributors, exposing them to intimidation, harassment, and terrorism, and create burdensome reporting requirements for Internet political ads. The campaign finance sections of the bill simply limit the free speech of conservatives through the forced disclosure of donor names.  Requires the disclosure of individual tax returns and specific business tax returns by Presidents and Vice Presidents, also specific candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency. The bill calls for District of Columbia statehood, guaranteeing the Socialist Dems 2 additional senators and 1 representative. The physical federal district of Washington, D.C. would include only the federal buildings and installations like the White House. The State of Washington; Douglas Commonwealth formed from the remaining residential and commercial areas of the city. HR 1 creates taxpayer subsidies for campaigns through a 6 to 1 taxpayer match on small-donor campaign contributions of up to $200, whereupon the federal government will pay $1,200 taxpayer dollars to a congressional or presidential campaign. Regardless if someone supported a bid for reelection, $1 million in public funds would help a congressman get re-elected. HR 1 would coerce Americans into funding the campaigns of candidates with which they disagree. Tax $$ for campaign travel and campaign dinners. Bill stipulations make the very practices that have made so many in the U.S. question the results of our previous presidential election permanent and nationwide.  Appropriates $1 billion for FY 2021 and $175 million annually for FYs 2022, 2024, 2026, and 2028. The bill currently is in the House Judiciary and 10 other committees, awaiting a vote to advance to the full House for debate.

. Although Rep. Sarbanes rages against Republicans supposedly gerrymandering congressional districts, his own district is a prime example. A federal circuit court judge called his district “a broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” Sarbanes refuses to comment on this situation.

. Despite their win by keeping illegal aliens in the census count, Socialist Dems want to pass this law to guarantee their majority rule. Once the census finished, House seats reapportioned. Because of the way the American population is flowing to exit liberal states, Democrats will lose seats. These 9 states will lose a congressional district: California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. New York might lose 2 seats. Those seats will go to Republican areas, 3 to Texas, which is exploding in population, 2 to Florida, and 1 each to Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. This shift will eradicate the Dem House majority. Republicans control the redistricting process in all the states that will gain new congressional seats, so they can redraw the lines not only to make sure they win new seats the census is giving them but also win back a few extra that Democrats gained in 2018 and 2020. HR 1 would cancel this GOP advantage by forcing states to adopt independent redistricting commissions dominated by liberals for purposes of drawing congressional district lines.

. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell labeled the bill the “Democrat Politician Protection Act” and accused Socialist Dems of trying to change the rules of politics to benefit their party. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA.) declared that it presents a massive federal government takeover that would undermine the integrity of our elections.  HR 1 limits the ability of states to cooperate to discover voters registered in multiple states at the same time. People will be able to vote in multiple states. It prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations. Unfortunately, HR 1 was written without input from the election officials and administrators who actually have experience operating elections and without consultation with Republicans.  HR 1 also seeks to decrease the number of commissioners on the Federal Election Commission from 6 to 5. This will end the commission long history of being a bipartisan body. As a partisan body, Dems certainly will weaponize election laws against political opponents. If signed into law, a partisan FEC under control of Biden-Harris would interpret and enforce it.  HR 1 undermines key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the FEC to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to conservative charitable and nonprofit organizations. Such an outcome would decrease public confidence in our elections. Our nation is only a few years distant from the Obama Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting hundreds of Americans for their conservative political beliefs. HR 1 removes the prohibition that banned the IRS from codifying such targeting practices into law.

. The 1st Amendment is the hallmark of our republic. The unfettered right of people to freely criticize their elected representatives ensures that U.S. policymaking remains accountable to the American people. This radical bill would greatly harm the ability of conservatives to freely speak, publish, and organize into groups to advocate for better government and the causes of their choice. Such would have a considerable chilling effect on civic engagement and free speech. HR 1 would further undermine the Constitution by broadly defining political “coordination.” It would effectively ban all conservative nonprofits from contacting a member of Congress or their staff about a policy issue, a blatant assault on the ability of conservatives to petition their government. Indiscriminately regulating patriotic groups that incidentally or occasionally advocate on federal judicial nominations and requiring those groups to broadly expose their donors, even if those citizens had not advised group publicity about judicial nominees. Deterring American citizens from serving their country through political appointments by forcing them to disclose their donations to causes they have supported in the past. Rules would target online advertising that bears no relation to an election; this will subject many more issue ads to burdensome disclaimer requirements, which will coerce groups into shortening their message and make some advertising, especially online, practically impossible. The bill expands the universe of regulated online political speech by conservatives beyond paid advertising to include communications on group or individual websites and email messages. The bill would force sponsors of online political content to file duplicative, burdensome reports with the FEC. It would further require impractical and inflexible disclaimers on many online ads. Under such a framework, the only people who could afford to speak would include those with extensive financial resources and a formidable legal team to protect them. Our elections will not become more honest or more informed, if we sacrifice the privacy of American citizens. But our democracy will weaken if conservative voices eliminated from public debate through intimidation and overregulation. Our Founding Fathers used pen names to encourage independence from Great Britain. Brave American patriots set the foundation for our nation writing under the anonymous pen names of Publius and Brutus. They understood the value of anonymity. Almost 200 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the State of Alabama from demanding the supporter list of the NAACP, citing concerns about retribution against its members and financial backers. And this Court agreed to hear a case challenging a California regulation forcing charities to hand over their supporter lists to the government. This bill would impose onerous and unworkable regulatory standards on the ability of individual and groups of conservatives to communicate important policy issues with elected officials and the public. Donors no longer will contribute.

. HR 1 demands automatic voter registration, including using many colleges and universities as voter registration sites and registering 16- and 17-year-olds. Abolishing voter ID laws and requiring only a signature in the polling place to vote. Online voter registration without protections to verify the eligibility of a voter. No-excuse absentee/mail voting available to all voters without signature comparison verification. Provisional ballots cast outside a voter precinct counted. These policies would open the floodgates to more election fraud and solidify the Socialist Democrat grip on power.

. HR 1 would give the federal government much more power in deciding our national representation. This bill violates Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution by impeding the state constitutionally -mandated right to decide how to administer elections. States forced to significantly alter their means and methods of registration and voting. The legislation drafted without the input and insight of state and local election officials who are responsible for administering elections in this country.  States know their resident election needs much better than a federal bureaucracy. It is a takeover without safeguards against irregularities erupting within our voting system. The legislation is cleverly written to appear sensible but is in fact deceptive in its effort to assert federal control over voting in our respective states. The bill deceptively uses the Constitution and the limited prerogative it provides Congress with respect to the election of members of the House and Senate. Article 1, Section 4: “The Times, Places, and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.” The result is to place states in the position of administratively having to conform to the provisions of HR 1, without the feds facing the added costs and confusion of having to maintain state law and procedures.  HR 1 unconstitutionally constricts and overrides the sovereignty of the states in the conduct of elections. Many sections demonstrate the increasing federal control of elections: federal control of election security, further centralizing election systems standards, and numerous new reporting requirements for election officials, including gathering data on voter race and ethnicity. It would give more power over elections and oversight authority to the Election Assistance Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice. A one-size-fits-all mandate from the federal level would ensure chaos on Election Day and prevent many voters from having their voices heard. The bill also wants to make Election Day a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation time given bureaucrats to oversee the polls. A provision in HR 1 would allow federal bureaucrats to monitor polling places and receive payment for this duty. Federal employees, who inherently have a stake in the outcomes of elections, should not monitor polling places in close proximity to thousands of voters. This situation is a thinly veiled form of voter intimidation. HR 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to obtain permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours an election office is open or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. All these restrictions result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data and huge expense while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. A new tax surcharge on corporations and wealthy taxpayers would fund the new federal voting rules.

. HR 1 opponents include Freedom Works, Americans for Tax Reform, National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action, and Club for Growth.

. American voters are angry and frustrated at the chaos, corruption, and inaction that allowed so much vote fraud in the Nov. 2020 election. This bill would only institutionalize the mechanisms for fraud and perpetuate it to the point where conservatives will have no electoral voice. We must ensure the integrity of our elections, protect our right to vote, and hold electoral officials accountable. Using the above information, lobby your representative to vote NO on HR 1. Email netaxpayers@gmail.com for congressional contact information and join our NTF Congress Watch Project.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 2-21. C

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