Rep. Austin Scott: H.R. 1 Erodes States’ Rights in Administering Elections

March 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) released the below statement upon the House of Representatives passing H.R. 1, also known as the “For the People Act,” late last night by a vote of 220 to 210. The legislation would implement sweeping changes to elections, including issuing tax dollars to political campaigns and forcing states to comply with “pandemic-style” election changes such as universal mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting.

“I’m very disappointed to see so many of my Democratic colleagues vote to pass H.R. 1, which will mandate sweeping changes to state-run elections and erode states’ rights in administering elections. There are changes that need to be made to our election system, but they should be done by state legislatures, not by Washington bureaucrats,” said Rep. Scott.

Rep. Scott continued: “Instead of working to reopen schools across our country, help businesses and our economy get back on track, and restore faith in our elections, Democrats continue to bring up partisan legislation that does nothing more than divide our country. I will keep fighting for the values and voices of Georgians and stand up to attempts to impose unpopular and unworkable liberal policies on the American people. Our country’s future depends on it.”

Specifically, H.R. 1 would:

  • Publicly fund campaigns with federal fines on corporations. Creates a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in a congressional or presidential campaign – meaning for every $200, the federal government will match $1,200. This funding would come from a surcharge on corporate and high taxpayer settlements with the Federal government. H.R. 1 also establishes a new voucher pilot program that grants eligible voters a $25 voucher to donate to any campaign of their choosing.
  • Nationalize elections and centralize administration in Washington, D.C. Oversteps the bounds established by the Constitution by impeding the states’ ability to determine their registration and voting practices, as protected under Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, and mandating ethics standards for the Supreme Court, violating the separation of powers.
  • Make “pandemic-style” election changes permanent. In 2020, states rushed to make changes in the name of COVID-19, like expanding mail-in voting without safeguards to protect ballot integrity, which created chaos, increased irregularities, and undermined public trust in our election process. H.R. 1 makes many of these changes permanent.
  • Impose progressive voting methods on every state. H.R. 1 would force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws.
  • Weaponize the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Alters the current bipartisan makeup of the six-member commission to a partisan five-member commission and establishes a “Speech Czar,” limiting free speech and creating a partisan commission.
  • Increase vulnerability for foreign election interference. Weakens the voting system of the American people by centralizing the election system, thereby increasing its vulnerability to foreign interference, and failing to implement the necessary checks and balances regarding who can register to vote. H.R. 1 will force states to implement online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration with no safeguards.
  • Limit free speech. H.R. 1 would drastically limit free speech and impose vague standards that disadvantage all groups who wish to advocate on behalf of any legislative issue, specifically requiring them to disclose the names of donors who donate above a certain threshold.
  • Disregard state voter identification laws and provisional ballot rules. Forces states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of identification and allowing for signature verification, which can be submitted through a photo if the voter registers online. Forces states to count provisional ballots cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct.
  • Remove states’ ability to decide how their districts are drawn. Mandates the use of independent redistricting commissions for creating congressional districts, removing states’ flexibility to choose the best systems for the needs of their citizens.
  • Weaponize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). H.R. 1 permits the agency to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status.