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Higgins: H.R. 1 Abridges Free Speech, Corrupts Election System

March 8, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) voted against H.R. 1, which is a liberal overhaul of America’s electoral and campaign systems. This legislation abridges free speech, weakens election security, and creates taxpayer-subsidized political campaigns.

Some of the most egregious provisions in H.R. 1:

  • Violate constitutional rights under the First Amendment by limiting political speech and increasing the power of the federal government to control it.
  • Divert taxpayer dollars into partisan political campaigns, enriching politicians and campaign consultants.
  • Weaponize the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by altering the current bipartisan 3-3 membership ratio to a partisan 3-2 membership ratio, giving Democrats the ability to silence speech with which they disagree.
  • Override state voter ID laws and increase the likelihood of voter fraud.
  • Mandate significant changes that would overrule election practices that have been tailored to thousands of localities across the country, which include requiring same-day registration without verification safeguards and forcing states to accept a sworn statement as proof of identity, instead of photo identification, and record that vote as a regular ballot.
  • Remove penalties for anyone who is falsely registered to vote and votes, or for anyone who defrauds election officials to cast a vote.
  • Force states to restore felon voting rights and automatically register 16 and 17-year-old individuals, potentially enabling them to cast ballots in federal elections before they turn 18.
  • Create numerous private rights of action that pave the way for trial lawyers to sue when the results of an election are not to their liking.
  • Suppress free speech by greatly increasing compliance costs to associations and civic groups that express views on issues and politicians.

 
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“H.R. 1 clearly violates 1st Amendment protections and is a partisan bill designed only to fund and elect liberal Democrats. The monstrosity of a bill increases the likelihood for voter fraud, abridges free speech, expands government bureaucracies, and creates taxpayer-funded political campaigns. The Constitution vests primary responsibility in the states to set the ‘times, places, and manner’ of congressional elections, allowing states and localities to determine how to best conduct elections. H.R. 1 is specifically designed to greatly increase federal power, incredibly abridges free speech, and ultimately damages our electoral system. It was written without any input from Republicans. H.R. 1 is not in the best interests of the American citizens that we are sworn to serve. This type of socialist-leaning Democrat legislative effort reflects, again, their intention to destroy our Representative Republic from within. They want a socialist nation, and they think Americans will allow our Constitutional freedoms to be abolished. Vote by vote, that’s their intent. Thank God that there is zero chance H.R. 1 will be signed into law by President Trump.”