The Republican National Committee on Thursday came out swinging against Democrats’ For the People Act of 2021, known as H.R. 1, calling the election reform legislation House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “most egregious overreach.”
“H.R. 1 is nothing short of a hostile takeover by Democrats to federalize our state and local elections,” a memo by General Counsel for the RNC Kyle Hupfer read. “All Americans should be alarmed by this power grab.”
H.R. 1, the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation, touches on many aspects of the voting process. It would require states to automatically register eligible voters, as well as offer same-day registration. It would limit states’ ability to purge registered voters from their rolls and restore former felons’ voting rights. Among dozens of other provisions, it would also require states to offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee balloting.
Kupfer, who is also the Indiana Republican Party Chair, alleged that if the bill is passed, it would allow Democrats to force through a “wholesale takeover of state election laws” by eroding state voter ID laws and requiring states to adopt automatic voter registration, among other items.
“This legislation is the stuff of failed democracies and is so far outside the mainstream that so-called moderate Democrats should join Republicans in rejecting this bill,” Kupfer said. “If the Democrats get their wish and this bill is enacted, it will limit political expression and make our elections less secure.”
In the wake of the divisive 2020 election cycle, Democrats argue that H.R. 1 will protect Americans’ right to vote.
The bill, which passed the House last month, is viewed by Democrats as a powerful counterweight to voting regulations advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s repeated false claims of a stolen 2020 election.
The sweeping voting reform law that passed in Georgia, for example, has received a generous amount of outrage from Democrats – as well as praise from Trump supporters.
Pelosi said in a speech last month that H.R. 1 would provide for “elections that enable people to participate more fully.”
“Our purpose was to remove obstacles of participation, obstacles of participation for Democrats or Republicans,” Pelosi said. “That’s what the law requires, that was the right thing to do. Whether it was in registration or getting out the vote, we had to be non-partisan. And that’s what this legislation does.”
President Biden called the bill “landmark legislation” as he highlighted its necessity.
“The right to vote is sacred and fundamental — it is the right from which all of our other rights as Americans spring,” Biden said in a statement.
The bill will need approval in the Senate, where the two parties are deadlocked 50-50. The legislation would require 60 votes to overcome the filibuster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.