House Democrats will hold their second hearing Wednesday on H.R. 1, the For the People Act, in the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has spent the last two weeks offering lies and misleading claims about the bill. Before the hearing begins tomorrow, here are the facts.
Like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Jordan opposes the bill for the exact reason it’s necessary: it’ll give regular people a bigger voice in our elections while reducing the power of big donors and lobbyists, the same special interests that keep him in office.
More specifically, Jordan has already made false and misleading claims about the legislation.
Rep. Jordan’s claim:
Setting the record straight:
The claims in his tweet are false or omit key information.
- The bill does not lower the voting age to 16. As part of the automatic voting registration provision, it establishes pre-registration for 16- and 17-year olds who can not vote until they turn 18. Pre-registration for 16- and/or 17-year olds is already the law in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Pre-registration “is a successful way to increase voter registration, not just in the short term but also over a lifetime. People who begin voting at an early age are more likely to stay engaged.”
- This provision was structured to reflect the recommendations of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration to address nationwide poll worker shortages and is focused on ensuring nonpartisan state and local boards of elections have the help they need to shorten long voting lines, improve access to the polls, and guarantee early voting and Election Day goes smoothly. Only federal workers who serve as poll workers will get additional time off to provide this assistance, which will help to address a major problem with our country’s election administration. According to the Election Assistance Commission, “Nearly 65 percent of jurisdictions reported that it was ‘very difficult’ or ‘somewhat difficult’ to obtain a sufficient number of poll workers.”
- Modeled on successful systems around the country, the bill would multiply the power of small donors through a voluntary matching fund program for candidates that qualify to participate in it. A “reasonable estimate” of the program would be about $1 per year per citizen, a small price to pay for a more open, responsive, and accountable government. It’s a clear contrast to House Republicans’ first bill of the last Congress, a tax cut demanded by their big donors that helped blow a trillion-dollar hole in the deficit.
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