Washington, D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered a speech on the House floor today regarding the Democrats’ H.R. 1 “For the People Act.”
Remarks are below, or watch online here.
Key Quote: This new Democrat Socialist majority wants the federal government to interfere in our free and fair elections. This bill today — the majority’s most important bill — is a massive federal government takeover that would undermine the integrity of our elections.
“Thank you, Madam Speaker.
“I thank the Ranking Member for his work and his love of music.
“This new Democrat Socialist majority wants the federal government to interfere in our free and fair elections. This bill today — the majority’s most important bill — is a massive federal government takeover that would undermine the integrity of our elections.
“But before I explain why, I want to show how the majority has gone to great steps to actually hide their prize legislation from the American people.
“Madam Speaker, for the American public to understand, when you become the majority, you reserve 1-10 of the numbering of bills and you want to make your number one bill the most important thing you do, for America to know. Two years ago we were in the majority, Madam Speaker, and we made the most important bill to make sure the people’s money went back to them.
“We want to cut your taxes. So the most important bill that the Democrat Socialist majority has, is to take more of your money and give it to the politicians who want to vote for this bill. How ironic.
“Now, even though H.R. 1 has such broad spectrum of where to go, it was referred to 10 committees. Imagine that – 10 committees.
“But 40% of this bill has not even been marked up. Because what they’d do? They only went to one committee. What committee did they go to? They went to the very special committee. House Administration. This House Administration — the members that sit on House Administration, I’m sure they are selected from the Conference committee that you go forward, that you select individuals to it.
“No, no, no. That’s not the committee we went to. House Administration is selected just by two people, the Speaker and the Leader. The Speaker and the Leader. And you know what, it’s one of the smallest committees we have.
“Because if H.R. 1 is so important to the American public, I’m sure we would want everybody to see it. But no. It’s just nine people of this House. And in their jurisdiction, they didn’t get a markup of the whole bill. They only had about 60% of the bill to mark up.
“But I want to thank our Republican colleagues on this committee. First of all, Ranking Member Rodney Davis, Mark Walker, Barry Loudermilk. They were very thoughtful. They realized even though the Chair of the House Administration, when asked during the markup, would the other committees mark up this bill?
“She promised, she promised that the other nine committees would see it. The other nine committees could mark up that other 40% that the House Administration didn’t get to mark up. Lo and behold, that’s not true.
“Just as this new Democratic Socialist majority said there will be 72 hours before it would go to the floor. No. Yesterday we learned that could mean an hour. Those other 71 don’t matter.
“But what Republicans on the other side of the aisle did, they wanted a thoughtful approach on the issue. They provided 28 amendments to improve H.R. 1 .
“You know how many the Democrats on the other side that the Speaker selected those six members? They didn’t vote for one of them.
“They could not find a way that of those 28 amendments that one of them could be accepted. I guess the Speaker selected the right people for House Administration.
“They call this bill For the People Act, but I want to explain why I think it’s For The Politicians, because everyone who votes for this bill today, they are going to go home a little more excited. You know why? They just got the taxpayers to actually fund their elections.
“And they picked it in a manner where you don’t even know and the multiplying effect of a 6-1.
“So let’s talk about For the Politicians Act.
“First, H.R. 1 wants to give American taxpayer dollars to political candidates and campaigns, regardless of whether you support them. We are not just talking about Republicans and Democrats running. Any view you want with any impression they want to say.
“We just had a bill on the floor yesterday about hate. I imagine there’s going to be quite a few people who run for office that get taxpayers’ money that talk a lot of hate. I don’t think America wants their money spent on that.
“This bill will give candidates a government match of 6-1. Not a dollar for dollar. No, no, no. For the Politicians Act multiplies it. So if a citizen gives $200, the government gives $1,200. That’s why the new Democrat Socialist Party are so excited about this bill.
“That’s why they made it a number one priority. Hard-earned taxpayer money should go to roads, bridges, or to giving a boost to struggling Americans, not to political campaigns.
“I’m not sure about these other districts but when I campaigned, no one came to me and said, let’s make sure you take more of my taxpayer money to give to you to run. I can’t remember one time anybody on any side of the aisle asked for that.
“Worse, this bill would allow political candidates to profit off actually running for office.
“From the American taxpayers’ dime, the bill expands the use of taxpayer funds to include the childcare, the rent, the mortgage, or even professional development. We’ve now just created a new industry. Think of the individual that just wants to run for office, that wants to spew hate and says the taxpayers are going to pay for it. I’m just going to keep doing that.
“Second, H.R. 1 legalizes the vote for convicted felons. Even if that person was convicted of election fraud.
“Can you imagine that? We’re going to vote on a bill today that provides more taxpayer money to politicians, that’s going to allow felons to vote, because we don’t care what states say, but even if you’re convicted of election fraud, come on down. We got something special for you.
“And this wasn’t created by one new member of this Democrat Socialist Party. It’s the most important bill that they selected. It is H.R. 1 . No other bill matters to them but this. Just doesn’t make sense to me.
“Third, H.R. 1 would weaken the security of our election and make it harder to protect against voter fraud. It automatically registers voters from the D.M.V.
“Voting is a right, not a mandate.
“This legislation would also prevent officials from ever removing ineligible voters from the rolls or even verify the accuracy of voter information.
“To that point, H.R. 1 exposes our election system to widespread fraud. Take ballot harvesting, for example. We have one less member in this body because of harvesting of ballots.
“A practice where a third party activist can collect your absentee ballot from other voters and turn them in for you or potentially not even turn them in at all. Can you imagine putting the trust of your vote in the hands of a stranger? If that doesn’t scare you it should.
“Sadly, this practice was weaponized in California and North Carolina not so long ago. But now we want to make it everywhere. You know, The Washington Post highlighted the peril of this practice.
“Let me read you the headline: “Don’t be Shocked by the North Carolina Fraud Allegations. Absentee Ballots are Much Less Secure than Polling Places.”
“Absentee ballots are less secure than polling places. The piece goes on to say, “no one oversees voters filling out absentee ballots to ensure they fill out the ballot and return it without tampering. Campaigns and parties have taken advantage of this by turning to campaign and party workers to deliver and return absentee ballot materials for voters — on an honor system.”
“And finally, this bill wants to stack the deck in favor of the party in power at the Federal Election Commission.
“We talk a lot about bipartisanship. We talked a lot about it in different ways. The committee that could only mark up 60% of this bill, you might say it’s bipartisan but it’s not level.
“It’s 6-3. That’s why not one of the 28 amendments got adopted. But the Federal Election Commission is of six commissioners — a panel of three on one side and three on the other. So what does this bill do that the new Democrat Socialist majority care most about?
“Let’s stack the deck. Let’s stack the deck a little further. Let’s not make it three and three. Let’s put the party in power to get that one more, to put the thumb on the scale a little further — so they want to make it a five panel.
“This week, The New York Times wrote: Republicans arguably have spent more time trying to define this bill than Democrat Socialists have spent trying to promote it.
“I wonder why.
“If it’s your most important bill, the bill that’s going to define your Congress, let’s look at what it is.
“They want to take more taxpayer money. They want to give you less freedom.
“Those who vote for it today, I guess they walk away with a raise in their campaign.
“They’re asking the taxpayer to give them 6-1. Pretty good return, I would say. But it doesn’t matter if the taxpayers support you or not, because you’re just going to make government larger and take the money away.
“It’s going to make people who are convicted felons open the door, come on and vote. Even if you’re convicted of election fraud.
“It’s kind of interesting to me that would you make it your number one priority. It’s kind of interesting to me, a structure of Congress if you’re referred to a committee that you wouldn’t have it all marked up. It’s kind of interesting to me the only committee you would pick to mark it up is the one chosen by the Speaker. It’s interesting to me that this where you spend your time.
“We can do better and I hope today we have a big voice to say taxpayers should not pay for our elections, that politicians should not vote to take more of their hard-earned money from taxpayers so they can say things people disagree with.
“I yield back.”