Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post accusing Democrats of trying to “swing elections” with a new far-ranging bill aimed at voting, campaign finance, and ethics reform.
McConnell called the attempt to strengthen ethics rules and implement election reforms a “power grab” and a ““naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party.”
“House Democrats won’t come to the table and negotiate to reopen the government, but they’ve been hard at work angling for more control over what you can say about them and how they get reelected,” wrote McConnell, who has refused to put bills to reopen the government passed by the House to a Senate vote.
The Democrats’ so-called “For The People” Act seeks to strengthen government ethics rules, make voting more accessible, requires super PACs to disclose their private donors, incentivizes smaller donations, and aims to make Election Day a paid holiday for federal workers.
McConnell dismissed the Election Day holiday proposal as a “generous new benefit” for “federal bureaucrats” and said the push to publicize private donors was an attack on free speech.
“Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views,” McConnell wrote.
He also complained about the bill’s ban on removing voters from state rolls for not voting in past elections, noting that 23,000 California voters were registered incorrectly.
McConnell’s voter claim debunked:
HuffPost reporter Sam Levine pointed out that McConnell’s warning was misleading at the very least.
“It was an issue with software, and the head of the DMV resigned,” Levine wrote. “For context, there are over 19.6 million registered voters in CA. Automatic registration added 727,924 people to the rolls since launch in April.”
“The law congress is proposing authorizes the states to set up their own systems for registering voters. People have to be given the chance to opt out,” he explained. “The law would prevent states from aggressively purging roles by removing people if they don't vote and don't respond to a single mailer from the state. Proponents of the change argue that this practice removes eligible voters from the rolls.”
McConnell ripped for hypocrisy:
Splinter News’ Paul Blest pointed out that McConnell's concern "really puts the last ten years of voter ID laws, accusations of voter fraud accusations, and racial and political gerrymandering into perspective."
"The gall of McConnell to characterize a paid holiday and six days off to volunteer as 'generous new benefits for federal bureaucrats,' at the same time he’s currently keeping the government closed and thus putting many workers into desperate straits, is truly incredible. This also ignores that making Election Day a paid federal holiday serves another purpose: To encourage the private sector to do the same for its own employees," Blest wrote. "The Republican Party is anti-democracy. The evidence for this is not just the would-be authoritarian doofus in the White House, but what Republicans in Congress and state legislatures have done all over the country over the past decade to entrench their power regardless of which way the political winds are blowing. It’s just awfully nice of Mitch McConnell to finally come out and say that was the intent all along."