KEY VOTE: “NO” on the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1)

KEY VOTE: House · Mar 1, 2021

Heritage Action opposes the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

This week, the House will vote on H.R. 1, the “For The People Act.” Lawmakers should not let this legislation’s misleading name fool them—it is composed of unconstitutional and ill-advised policy mandates that the Left would use to hijack America’s election processes. H.R. 1 is a very long, complex bill and is a liberal wish list of power-grabs ranging from institutional control and election “reforms” to campaign finance, lobbying, and judicial ethics.

Free and fair elections are the bedrock of American government. They are fundamental to our way of life and confidence in our representative system. H.R. 1 cloaks itself in the guise of transparency and fairness but, in reality, is a partisan scheme to choke off dissent and squelch conservative candidates and conservative political voices. This bill was aptly “renamed” by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.” It is an unprecedented attempt to seize control of elections through federal government power.

This fundamentally flawed legislation establishes a new publicly funded bailout of political campaigns, weaponizes the Federal Elections Commission by destroying the current bipartisan makeup, and creates a new, subjective category of “campaign-related” speech that is regulated by Washington bureaucrats who are empowered to enforce these regulations with penalties and censorship.

According to The Heritage Foundation, H.R. 1 would implement the following changes:

  1. Makes it easier to commit fraud and promotes chaos at the polls through same-day registration, as election officials have no time to verify the accuracy of voter registration information and cannot anticipate the number of voters, ballots, and precinct workers that will be needed to ensure a safe and secure election process.

  2. Degrades the accuracy of registration lists by automatically registering individuals from state databases, such as DMV and welfare offices, which provides an opportunity to register large numbers of ineligible voters, including aliens, as well as multiple or duplicate registrations of the same individuals.

  3. Constitutes a recipe for massive voter registration fraud by hackers and cybercriminals through online voter registration not tied to an existing state record, such as a driver’s license.

  4. Requires states to count ballots cast by voters outside of their assigned precinct, overriding the precinct system used by almost all states that allow election officials to monitor votes, staff polling places, provide enough ballots, and prevent election fraud.

  5. Prevents election officials from checking the eligibility and qualifications of voters and from removing ineligible voters. This includes restrictions on using the U.S. Postal Service’s national change-of-address system to verify the address of registered voters, participating in state programs that compare voter registration lists to detect individuals registered in multiple states, or ever removing registrants due to a failure to vote.

  6. Cripples the effectiveness of state voter ID laws by requiring states to allow individuals to vote without an ID and to merely sign a statement in which they claim they are who they say they are.

  7. Expands regulation and government censorship of campaigns and political activity and speech, including online and policy-related speech. H.R. 1 imposes onerous legal and administrative compliance burdens and costs on candidates, citizens, civic groups, unions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations with the ultimate goal of revealing conservative donors and advocates to the public so the Left can engage in an intimidation effort.

  8. Requires states to unconstitutionally restore the ability of felons to vote the moment they are out of prison. Section 2 of the 14th Amendment gives states the constitutional authority to decide when felons who committed crimes against their fellow citizens may vote again. Congress cannot override a constitutional amendment with a statute.

  9. Transfers the right to draw congressional districts from state legislatures to “independent” commissions whose members are unaccountable to voters. H.R. 1 makes it a violation of federal law to engage in “partisan” redistricting and mandates inclusion of alien populations, both legal and illegal, in all redistricting. This is an anti-democratic, unconstitutional measure that takes away the ability of the citizens of a state to make their own decision about redistricting, and prioritizes the congressional representation of criminal, illegal aliens over lawful U.S. citizens.

  10. Violates separation of powers and directly interferes with the president’s constitutional duties. H.R. 1 bans political appointees, such as the attorney general, from participating in, directing the defense of, or assisting in any matter (including lawsuits against a president’s policies, programs, executive orders, or the president’s enforcement of the law) in which the president is named as a party.

Although the Left is promoting H.R. 1 as a bill that would “strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people,” it is an anti-democratic bill meant to enshrine power for the few at the cost of the whole and does nothing to protect the principle of one-citizen, one-vote. It is nothing but a progressive power grab, and Heritage Action urges all House Members to vote against it.

Heritage Action opposes the “For the People Act” (H.R. 1) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.