Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sparred Wednesday in a hearing on S.1, the Democratic bill opposed by Republicans who charge it would federalize controversial state measures that opened the door to fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election.
“Shame, shame, shame,” Schumer said of Republicans who want to keep existing election security measures intact, Fox News reported.
“I would like to ask my Republican colleagues, why are you so afraid of democracy?” he said during the Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing.
McConnell said it was Democrats who should be ashamed.
“Talk about shame. If anybody ought to be feeling any shame around here, it’s turning the FEC into a partisan prosecutor, the majority controlled by the president’s party, to harass and intimidate the other side,” McConnell said. “That’s what you ought to be ashamed about.
“This is clearly an effort by one party to rewrite the rules of our political system, but even more immediately it would create an implementation nightmare … that would drown state and local officials,” he said.
Fox News noted it’s rare for Senate leaders to take part in a legislative hearing in the way both did Wednesday.
In an analysis, the Heritage Foundation said the For the People Act would federalize and micromanage state elections, override hundreds of state laws, regularize vote-by-mail, give millions of tax dollars to politicians for their campaigns, turn the Federal Elections Commission into a partisan player, hinder states from verifying the identities of voters, bar states from cleaning their voter rolls of ineligible voters, mandate early voting and after-election-day vote counting, and much more.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said S.1 in the Senate and H.R.1 in the House “intentionally targets free and fair elections by attacking First Amendment freedoms and weakening protections against voter fraud.”
“At a time when public trust and confidence in our elections has hit an all-time low, now more than ever we need greater security, transparency, and accountability – not a Washington takeover of state elections serving the interests of corrupt politicians over the people they are supposed to put first,” he said.
“Voters overwhelmingly support a simple and secure voting process, common sense voter ID requirements, and strengthening voting safeguards that prevent fraud – not eliminate them. But the reality is that this bill is so bad that it is unable to pass the Senate unless the rules are changed by Democrats to force it on the American people. It’s simply that bad.”
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the bill “an existential threat to our mission to elect lawmakers who will fight for protections for unborn children and their mothers.”
“With this bill, pro-abortion Democrats are seeking to cement their power in Washington by putting the federal government in charge of elections in all 50 states, and change the bipartisan makeup of the Federal Election Commission, opening the door to fraud with impunity,” she said. “We remain vigilant in fighting against Democrats’ attempts to change the rules and destroy foundational American principles, including the right to life.”
The bill was adopted on party-line vote in the House but faces an uphill fight in the 50-50 Senate, where 60 votes is required to move the bill to a full vote.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, said Democrats “are using the justification of the 2020 experience — pandemic and challenges that some states had — as an excuse to push through on a completely party-line vote, a list of agenda items that they’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
The plan likely would face court challenges, as the U.S. Constitution grants state legislatures the authority to regulate elections.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, charged the bill would enable “widespread fraud and illegal voting.”
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