Today Senate Republicans blocked the Democrat attempt for a federal takeover of elections when their votes blocked further debate on the legislation. Democrat sponsors of the bill named it the “For the People Act,” but Republicans call it the “Corrupt Politicians Act.” The 50-50 vote was made on a straight party line. Sixty votes were needed to move the legislation to debate and a vote, so the bill is stopped for now.
Republicans voted against the bill because it would ban most ID laws – which many of the states have recently passed. According to Fred Lucas, the bill would also “expand ballot harvesting, prevent the updating of voter registration lists, establish taxpayer-financed campaigns, and require states to allow same-day voter registration” – and more.
Of course, Democrats cast Republicans as suppressing voting rights and against democracy. Lucas quoted Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) as immediately rising to share his point of view.
Once again, the Senate Republican minority has launched a partisan blockade of a pressing issue here in the United States Senate, an issue no less fundamental than the right to vote. This vote, I’m ashamed to say, is further evidence that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican Party.
In the fight for voting rights, this vote was the starting gun, not the finish line.
Republicans were just as quick to call the vote a win. Lucas quoted Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as saying the following.
This is a huge win for the citizens of the United States. This is a huge win for democracy, and it’s a huge win for the integrity of elections. The Corrupt Politicians Act is the most dangerous legislation we’ve considered in the nine years I’ve served in this body. It’s an attempt by Senate Democrats of a brazen power grab to federalize elections and to ensure Democrats won’t lose control for the next 100 years.
This bill isn’t about protecting the right to vote. It’s precisely the opposite. It’s about taking away the right to vote form the citizens and giving it instead to the corrupt politicians in Washington who want to stay in power.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) enjoyed their fifteen-minutes of fame when they hinted that they would not vote for the bill. They seem to like the power of being known as “key swing votes in the divided Senate,” but they voted with Democrats as most people thought they would do.
Cruz noted several acts already made by state legislatures: (1) 36 states have enacted voter ID laws – would have been repealed by the bill, (2) 75% of Americans support voter ID requirements (Rasmussen Reports), (3) 31 states prohibit ballot harvesting – would have been expanded by the bill, (4) created a partisan advantage on the Federal Election Commission – which has been divided equally between Democrats and Republicans since 1975. In addition, the bill would have required that congressional district boundaries would be determined by unelected redistricting commissions rather than by state legislatures in most states.
Lucas said that the bill would also include “restrictions on political speech, such as requiring disclosure of donors to independent groups that buy political ads.” This would be similar to the 1950s requirement by some states who required donor disclosure demands on civil rights groups. “Under the provision, the government would contribute to the campaigns of federal candidates $6 for ever $1 raised in small donations – that is, for every donation under $200.”
In addition, the bill would have given authority to “the Internal Revenue Service to investigate and consider the political and policy positions of nonprofit organizations when they apply for tax-exempt status.” Prior to the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) described the bill as “a recipe for undermining confidence in our elections and remaking our entire system of government to satisfy one far end of the political spectrum.”
Lucas quoted Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation.
When it comes to our elections, policymakers should be focused on one goal: making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
Sadly, this legislation does the opposite. In reality, this mammoth, leftist takeover of elections threatens election security and compromises every American’s fundamental right to vote.
It would require nationwide implementation of the worst changes in election rules from the 2020 election, and go even further in eroding and eliminating basic security protocols that states have in place.
I believe that the United States of America dodged a huge bullet today when Republicans voted against the Corrupt Politicians Act. Schumer said that Democrats will continue to get such legislation passed, so this is no time for Republicans to let their guard down.