Washington – As the partial shutdown of the federal government lurches into another week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken to the Washington Post to blast a Democrat attempt to pass legislation to use federal tax dollars to finance their campaigns, establish new restrictions on political speech, give voting rights to convicted felons, and take away the ability of states to determine their own Congressional districts, among other things.
Calling the Democrat proposal HR 1 the “Democrat Politician
Protection Act”, McConnell takes apart the proposal that Democrats are billing
as “anti-corruption” as an effort to use federal law to reinforce and bolster Democrat’s
partisan strength in Washington.
McConnell also points out that the new voter registration measures
in the Democrat proposal “mimic the practices that recently caused California
to incorrectly register 23,000 voters.”
Here is a look at a few of the most notable changes in HR 1.
Tax Dollars for Federal Campaigns:
The proposal would create a federal matching fund that would give candidates for Congress $6 from federal taxpayers for every $1 they raise from most contributions.
First Amendment Rights
Would propose a Constitutional Amendment to end Citizens United and create new regulations subjecting individuals to greater regulation and scrutiny for political speech.
Would alter the way clerks use mail to confirm voter residence,
effectively stopping them from cleaning up voter lists.
Would create automatic voter registration, including online
Would make election day a holiday for federal employees (but
not private sector employees).
Would give voting rights to convicted felons, overriding
state laws in many states.
Would take away the power of states to determine their own Congressional
districts and turn the authority to draw Congressional maps over to a federal
Would add a fifth member to the FEC board to provide a partisan advantage to one major political party or the other.
It is widely believed that some of the anti-corruption individual proposals in HR 1, such as tougher lobbyist registration requirements and preventing lawmakers from using tax dollars to settle sexual harassment cases, could be passed with bipartisan support.
It appears from Sen. McConnell’s op-ed that the attempt by Democrats to bulk up the bill as a liberal wish list has killed any hope of passing those proposals in this sweeping package.
Still, both of Maine’s Representatives to Congress, Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree, have signed on as cosponsors of the proposal, which would likely lead to millions more dollars pouring into Maine and flooding the airwaves in future elections, if passed.