“Madam Speaker — This week, Democrats are pushing partisan legislation that would change how we conduct elections and how we can speak about political issues.
“This legislation is the Democrats’ most pressing priority. Every single Democrat is a cosponsor.
“Democrats made this bill H.R. 1, which is reserved for the bills the majority thinks is the most important.
“H.R. 1 was bad when Democrats introduced it two years ago. It is worse now.
“After a year of our country suffering through a pandemic, the Democrats’ first piece of legislation does not help the millions of students still out of schools…
“It does not help the 10 million Americans who are still unemployed.
“No, Democrats’ legislation only helps themselves.
“Democrats want to use their razor-thin majority not to pass bills to earn voters’ trust, but to ensure they don’t lose more seats in the next election.
“First, H.R. 1 sends public dollars to fund political campaigns — not to open schools or distribute vaccines, but to create a slush fund so that politicians can run for reelection.
“Let’s say someone donates $200 to a preferred candidate. Under H.R. 1, taxpayers must now chip in an extra $1,200.
“Democrats want to raise this money through new fines on corporations, which the government will use to pay campaigns and political consultants.
“I guess Democrats don’t actually believe corporate money in politics is bad.
“Second, H.R. 1 weakens the security of our elections by making it harder to protect against voter fraud.
“This bill automatically registers voters from the DMV and other government databases…
“In most cases, it would prevent officials from removing ineligible voters from the rolls and would make it harder to verify the accuracy of voter information.
“Currently, an estimated 24 million voter records across the country appear to be inaccurate or invalid.
“And as we saw during the pandemic, this created chaos and confusion.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent — everyone has a personal story of your friend, your family, your neighbor receiving a ballot that they shouldn’t have. Every one of those stories erodes trust in election integrity.
“Yet under H.R. 1, future voters could be dead or illegal immigrants or maybe even registered two to three times.
“Democrats don’t care.
“Third, H.R. 1 rewrites election laws and imposes one-size-fits-all partisan rules from Washington.
“Under the Constitution, we generally defer to states and counties to run elections.
“Democrats want to change that.
“They want to remove reasonable debates about early voting, registration, and no-excuse mail-in balloting from the states and counties and resolve them with a single federal solution decided by the whims of Washington.
“They want to stop states from listening to their residents on the best way to protect ballot integrity, whether it is passing Voter I.D. laws or using basic safeguards like checking their voter rolls against the Post Office’s change-of-address system.
“And they want to mandate no-excuse mail-in balloting and 15 days of early voting as the post-pandemic norm.
“If you liked how the last election was run, you’ll love H.R. 1 because it’s more of the same — only this time, it’ll cost you.
“Fourth, H.R. 1 politicizes the FEC by turning it from an evenly divided commission into a partisan one and also by creating a speech czar.
“Then, H.R. 1 weaponizes the IRS by allowing them to consider an organization’s political views before granting tax exemptions.
“Under President Obama’s IRS, this power was abused by Lois Lerner and other bureaucrats to target conservative non-profits during the 2012 election.
“It was a massive scandal, a clear and intolerable violation of public trust, and a crime — which is why singling out groups for their political views is banned.
“130 non-profits wrote to Congress to strongly object to H.R. 1. They said Americans should be able to “support causes we believe in without fear of harassment and intimidation.”
“If you are serious about restoring public trust in government, that ban must remain in place.
“Madam Speaker — Democrats call H.R. 1 the ‘For the People Act.’
“But it really should be called the ‘For the Politicians Act.’
“It’s not designed to protect Americans’ vote.
“It’s designed to put a thumb on the scale in every election in America so that Democrats can turn a temporary majority into permanent control.
“This is an unparalleled political power grab. I urge all my colleagues to oppose it.
“I yield back.”