Opponents of H.R. 1 were galvanized last week, as proponents of the legislation indicated their intentions to enact individual provisions of the law using a “piecemeal” strategy. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer highlighted this intention Thursday, catching opponents in the Senate off guard. Rather than focus on improving the security of ballots, ward off cyberattacks, or ensure that those voting are eligible, proponents of this highly partisan legislation solely sought to entrench their political interests.
In a statement to Politico, Leader Hoyer stated that: “Since Senator McConnell refuses to take up H.R. 1, I am prepared to bring to the Floor and pass individual bills to address the reforms included in the For the People Act.”
While the political posturing is clear, some aspects of the legislation–like strengthening cybersecurity infrastructure of elections systems–could meet bipartisan support when taken up individually. However, H.R. 1’s haphazard intent, which includes provisions for a national mandatory voter registration program, gives felons the right to vote regardless of restitution status, DC statehood (which would include two new partisan U.S. Senate seats) highlights the fact that this legislation, and its individual provisions, is not about securing our elections.
Earlier this Spring, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted “[H.R. 1] as a power grab that failed to address voter fraud and argued allegations of a voting crisis in the U.S. are a fallacy.”
LDF will monitor developments in this new piecemeal strategy and track legislation affecting our elections as it moves through the legislative process.