Steil: We must work to protect the integrity of our elections, H.R. 1 does the opposite

March 2, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Committee on House Administration member Bryan Steil (WI-01) spoke on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 1, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats’ election reform bill.  

H.R. 1 nationalizes elections and centralizes administration in Washington, D.C., legalizes ballot harvesting, disregards states’ voter ID laws, and makes pandemic-related election changes permanent without proper safeguards. Read more on H.R. 1 in Empower Wisconsin.

During a Committee on House Administration hearing on H.R. 1, Steil spoke about the most egregious provisions in the bill, including public funding of politicians’ reelection campaigns. Watch Steil’s questioning here.

Earlier this year, Steil joined members of the Wisconsin delegation to outline their priorities to address election integrity issues. Read more here.

Steil’s remarks on the House floor:

We must protect voting integrity.

The bill before us today, H.R. 1, nationalizes our elections system. It imposes poorly drafted, unconstitutional mandates on states.

This bill weakens critical voter integrity provisions. Let me explain.

First, this bill guts voter ID protections. For example, in Wisconsin, a state with a strong voter ID law, this law would allow an individual to vote without an ID by simply providing a sworn statement. That’s it.

Are there other areas where we would allow identification laws to be so easily avoided? Could you board an airplane by simply providing a statement as to who you are?

The purpose of this provision is to weaken the integrity of our elections.

But wait there’s more!

This bill legalizes ballot harvesting. In Wisconsin we saw a clerk in Madison conduct ballot collections in broad daylight. This bill would legalize ballot harvesting nationwide.

The purpose of this provision is to weaken the integrity of our elections.

And if that’s not bad enough, just wait, there’s more!

This bill would allow federal funding of congressional campaigns.

It would give government money to fund politician’s reelection campaigns.

It would give government money to fund negative TV ads.

I am not sure about my colleagues, but I can tell you not once have I had a voter tell me that the problem with our elections is that there is not enough money.

We need to strengthen our elections system; we need to protect the integrity of our elections.

This bill nationalizes our elections, weakens voter integrity, is an affront to the 1st Amendment, and is a poor use of government money.

I ask my colleagues to join me in opposition to this bill.