Congressman Jason Smith
For the Politicians, Not the People
This week Democrat leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” their signature legislation this Congress. Speaker Pelosi said her goal is to clean up elections and “restore integrity” to government, but H.R. 1 makes our elections vulnerable to fraud, violates the Constitution, and injects taxpayer funds into political campaigns. Unfortunately, H.R. 1 isn’t for the people at all, but for the politicians and political consultants who will profit and stay in office longer, thanks to your tax dollars.
Our United States Constitution gives states the primary authority to determine the “time, place, and manner” of their own elections. What works in California or New York isn’t going to be right for Missouri, and what does work is for the people of Missouri to decide. But H.R 1 would force every state to comply with one-size-fits-all Washington mandates controlling every detail of holding elections. H.R. 1 dictates when elections are held, where polling places can be located, how states collect their ballots, and how states draw their Congressional districts.
H.R. 1 forces every state to allow convicted felons to vote, including people found guilty of election fraud. Every state would be forced to register people to vote on election day and collect and count ballots after election day. It makes our elections vulnerable to fraud and abuse while preventing states from protecting their election processes by removing ineligible voters from their rolls or even checking to see if voters are registered in multiple jurisdictions.
One of the requirements H.R. 1 would force on every state is automatic voter registration based on DMV databases, which often contain people who are ineligible to vote. When the state of California created its “motor-voter” program, 23,000 people were improperly registered to vote as a result of using DMV databases. Knowing that Democrat leaders would jam this bill through, I had Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows join me in introducing a one-page amendment to H.R. 1 which would have Immigration and Customs Enforcement verify the citizenship of any person automatically registered to vote. Shamefully, Democrat leadership blocked our amendment from even being considered on the U.S. House of Representatives floor.
H.R. 1 is projected to cost taxpayers at least $2.4 billion and inject billions more of federal dollars into political campaigns, something I fundamentally disagree with. Every campaign donation up to $200 would be matched 6-to-1 by federal funds. Tax dollars would pay for a flood of campaign attack ads, robocalls, and mailers, regardless if you agree with that candidate’s message or not. But H.R. 1 also lets candidates spend campaign funds in completely new ways – on their personal health insurance, licensing fees, and even day care expenses.
One of my signature goals as your representative in Congress is to return power to the people and rein in Washington bureaucrats and career politicians who think they know better than Missourians on how to run our state. That includes voting no on the so-called “For the People Act.” H.R. 1 benefits a lot of people, they’re just not hard-working American citizens or taxpayers.