House Passes H.R. 1 Bill, Cheney Says It ‘Violates First Amendment Rights’
House Democrats have approved sweeping voting and ethics legislation over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation.
The bill was approved on a near party-line 220-210 vote.
It would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.
Democrats have presented it as a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. Republicans have criticized it as an unwanted federal infringement in state elections.
Of course, this comes just days after former president Donald Trump reportedly told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference that they should donate money directly to him, via his website.
The Star Tribune wrote that, "In his first speech since leaving office, the former president encouraged loyalists to give directly to him, essentially bypassing the traditional groups that raise money for GOP candidates."
Trump, whose likeness was seen in the form of a golden statue at the conference, told the crowd to donate to his own website.
"There's only one way to contribute to our efforts to elect 'America First' Republican conservatives and, in turn, to make America great again," Trump said. "And that's through Save America PAC and donaldjtrump.com."
Trump called the H.R. 1 a "disaster" and a "monster" at the conference.
The H.R. 1, also known as the 'For the People Act,' was first introduced and passed in 2019 by Rep. John Sabranes, D-Md.
Sabranes himself issued a statement on his website, saying that the "2020 election underscored the need for comprehensive, structural democracy reform. Americans across the country were forced to overcome rampant voter suppression, gerrymandering and a torrent of special-interest dark money just to exercise their vote and voice in our democracy."
The bill is designed to increase voter turnout by expanding early voting, lessening identification requirements and allowing same-day voter registration. It would also require states to set up automatic registration for federal elections for eligible voters.
Republicans vehemently voted against the bill and many were vocal about their disapproval.
Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney was one of those people. She labeled the bill the "For the Politicians Act," and said that the bill would force taxpayers to fund political campaigns and that it would federalize elections, taking power away from the state and local governments "where it belongs."
"The past two weeks have proven that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are not serious about governing or leading our nation," Cheney said in a statement. "The bill they brought to the floor today steals power from the people, violates Americans' First Amendment Rights, and is designed to protect Democrat politicians. The legislation would force hard-earned taxpayer money to fund political campaigns and enable the federal government to control all aspects of our elections.
"It's clear that we need common sense election reform, but this unconstitutional federal takeover would only create more uncertainty for the system."
While the bill was approved by the House, it still needs to be voted on in the Senate.