Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday slammed House Democrats’ sweeping election reform bill as “exactly the wrong response” to what he called the “distressing lack of faith in our elections,” saying Democrats want to use their “temporary power” to “try to ensure they’ll never have to relinquish it.”
All House Democrats on Monday signed onto the bill — H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021 — which they claim will expand voting rights and “clean up corruption” in politics.
From the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell, R-Ky., hit Democrats for trying to “recycle failed legislation” that would have Washington Democrats “grab unprecedented power over how America conducts its elections and how American citizens can engage in political speech.”
“For several years now, we’ve seen the political left grow less interested in having normal policy debates within our governing institutions, and more interested in attacking the institutions themselves to tilt the playing field in their side’s favor,” McConnell said. “When their side loses a presidential election, it’s not Democrats’ fault, but the Electoral College’s. When they don’t like a Supreme Court decision, it’s time to threaten the Justices or pack the Court. When long-standing Senate rules threaten to frustrate far-left proposals, it’s the Senate rules they want to change.”
McConnell added that “now, even after winning the presidency and narrow majorities in both chambers, the Democrats are not content to just make arguments, advance policies, and behave like a normal majority.”
“No – they want to try to use their slim majorities to unilaterally rewrite and nationalize election law itself,” he said, adding that Democrats want “to use the temporary power the voters have granted them to try to ensure they’ll never have to relinquish it.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously pushed the bill in the last Congress.
The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor during the first week of March. Republicans have argued it would give the federal government more power in deciding the people’s representation.
According to Democrats, the bill would “improve access to the ballot box” by creating an automatic voter registration across the country and by ensuring that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored. The bill will also expand early voting and enhance absentee voting by simplifying voting by mail.
The legislation also “ensures that American elections are decided by American voters” by enhancing federal support for voting system security, specifically with regard to paper ballots, and also by increasing oversight of election system vendors and by requiring the “development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions.”
McConnell slammed the legislation, saying it “would take prudential questions about early voting, registration, and no-excuse absentee balloting and resolve them one way for the entire nation.”
“They want to force all 50 states to allow the absurd practice of ballot harvesting, where paid…