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Smith, Meadows Blast Speaker Pelosi for Blocking Citizenship Check for Voter Registration

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Washington, March 6, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08) and Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, blasted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled Rules Committee today for preventing their amendment to H.R. 1, the For the People Act, from receiving a vote. The simple amendment would require Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to verify the citizenship of any person who would be automatically registered to vote under H.R. 1.

“Speaker Pelosi said H.R. 1 was about cleaning up elections and restoring integrity to government,” said Congressman Smith. “If that were true, she would have allowed for a vote on our commonsense amendment to ensure only American citizens are voting in our elections. Speaker Pelosi loves to talk a big game about regular order and the democratic process, but sadly she undermined both by blocking our amendment from even receiving a vote. Doing so, she showed what H.R. 1 really is: an unprecedented, massive power-grab attempt which blatantly violates every state’s Constitutional rights.”

H.R. 1, a sweeping 622-page bill, blatantly violates states’ Constitutional rights to conduct their own elections. The elections clause in Article I of the Constitution clearly says the “time, place, and manner” of elections is determined by state legislatures, but H.R. 1 imposes federal election guidelines which states would have to conform to. H.R. 1 would legalize voting for convicted felons, including those found guilty of election fraud, allow ballots to be collected and counted after election day in every state, and force states to implement automatic voter registration based on DMV databases, which often contain people ineligible to vote. In the state of California, 23,000 people were incorrectly registered to vote in the state’s new “motor-voter” program.

Congressman Smith and Congressman Meadows’ proposed amendment would have required Immigration and Customs Enforcement to verify the citizenship of any person being automatically registered to vote under H.R. 1. Late Tuesday night, the Rules Committee voted along partisan lines to block the amendment from floor consideration.

“Democrats sell H.R. 1 as a bill protecting integrity of elections, and then they do the exact opposite by creating a system that automatically registers illegal immigrants to vote,” said Congressman Meadows, Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. “If we truly want to protect our electoral system, we can start by enforcing laws on the books and ensuring only lawful American citizens participate in our elections.”

Under H.R. 1, everyday Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars would also fund political campaigns. Every candidate for office could receive up to $5 million in taxpayer funds for their campaigns, meaning the government would fund attack ads and robocalls, and taxpayer dollars would line political consultants’ pockets.

“H.R. 1 is not written for the people,” said Congressman Smith. “H.R. 1 is written to protect Democrat politicians.”

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