HR 4 – Nancy Pelosi’s Power Grab

August 2021

The House took up H.R. 4, the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” in the most undemocratic manner imaginable.

They pushed through a vote without any input from House Republicans who strongly opposed giving the federal government so much unconstitutional power over how states conduct local and federal elections.

H.R. 4 is the latest in a series of attempts by Democrats to rewrite election laws and concentrate power in the hands of a few partisan bureaucrats.

These efforts come in the wake of a chaotic 2020 election season and a series of state level election reforms designed to restore election integrity.

Democrats disingenuously state that these election reforms are meant to suppress minority voters.  Their desire is to codify the 2020 pandemic accomodations that massively increased mail-in voting while dismantling election safeguards.

This also comes after the Senate failed to pass H.R. 1/ S.1 – the Corrupt Politicians Act – that would have federalized election law  and after the Supreme Court ruled that states have a right to enforce precinct voting policies and limit ballot-harvesting.

“2021 isn’t 1965, and Republicans celebrate the progress we’ve made since then. Democrats ignore it as a way to justify the unprecedented political power grab that is HR 4 — a federal takeover of our elections intended to keep Democrats in power.”

House Admin Ranking Member Rodney Davis

Read the full statement

House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) explains why he opposes H.R. 4

Joint Statement from House Judiciary and Administration Republicans opposing H.R. 4

H.R. 4 is a radical and unprecedented federal power grab over state-administered elections under the guise of updating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). The VRA “employed extraordinary measures to address” pervasive state resistance to removing racially discriminatory barriers that prevented minorities from exercising their right to vote. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision recognized an obvious fact: “things have changed dramatically” since 1965. Republicans celebrate that the VRA worked: More Americans from minority communities are voting than ever before, and voter registration is high. Thankfully, extreme policies like preclearance are no longer required to protect voters from discrimination. It is easier to vote today than ever before in our nation’s history. Yet Democrats are claiming “sweeping voter suppression” to justify H.R. 4’s unconstitutional expansion of the extraordinary measures in the VRA. 

 

Top Ten Most Egregious Provisions in H.R. 4*

Democrats continue to present no evidence of voter suppression

Despite years of claiming that Americans from minority communities face discriminatory forces at every turn, Democrats continue to be unable to present any evidence of voter suppression.

Rejects progress made since 1965

2018 and 2020 saw record turnout among Americans from minority communities, and voter registration is also high. 2021 isn’t 1965, and Republicans celebrate the progress we’ve made. Democrats ignore it to justify H.R. 4’s unprecedented political power grab, a federal takeover of our elections intended to keep Democrats in power.

Transforms the AG into an unelected, unaccountable “Elections Czar” in charge of all elections

H.R.4 turns Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland into an Elections Czar, an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat, with power over all voting across the country.

Makes it harder for States to maintain their voter lists

H.R. 4 puts in place new restrictions on State efforts to keep their voter registration lists clean and accurate. For example, new participation in an inter-state registration check system would be prohibited.

Forces federal courts to accept inaccurate Census data

H.R. 4 mandates the use of flawed, estimated Census data to measure certain groups and would prohibit courts from hearing any challenge to that data.

Subjects every State to preclearance

H.R. 4’s practice-based preclearance provision would require every state and political subdivision to submit voter integrity laws for approval by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. H.R. 4 also imposes a new formula designed to subject every State to preclearance for all election law changes.

Subjects every existing strict voter ID law to DOJ Elections Czar review

Under H.R. 4, every State with a strict voter ID law would be required to submit their existing statutes to the Elections Czar for approval.

Makes it harder for States to maintain their voter lists

H.R. 4 puts in place new restrictions on State efforts to keep their voter registration lists clean and accurate. For example, new participation in an inter-state registration check system would be prohibited.

Allows any “concerned citizen” to file lawsuits and their trial lawyers to reap the rewards.

Creates private rights of action to open the courthouse doors to anyone to sue state or local governments for voting discrimination. Enriches their trial lawyers by allowing them to sue for fees, taking money away from other government pursuits, like education and public safety.

States could be penalized for implementing new voter laws even if identical non-discriminatory laws are in place in another state

Allows lawsuits against a state’s voting laws even if another state has enacted the same legislation. For example, Georgia could be sued even if its voting laws matched those of Delaware, the President’s home state.