A recent piece published in The Gazette included multiple factual errors and egregiously false claims about H.R. 1, a federal overhaul of the U.S. election systems that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman Hinson corrects the record and presents the facts about H.R. 1 below.
Claim: The Constitution authorizes Congress to alter state regulations of elections.
Reality: The full text of Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution explicitly gives states the authority to run their own elections: The Constitution explicitly says “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.” The Constitution mandates Congress’s narrow role in elections and H.R. 1 overreaches these clear bounds.
Claim: Taxpayer money will not fund political campaigns.
Reality: All federal resources come from the pockets of taxpayers. There is no such thing as non-taxpayer federal resources. H.R. 1 creates an account to fund campaigns from fines on corporate and high taxpayer settlements with the federal government – penalty monies that could otherwise be used for federal programs and projects. Now, the taxpayers have to backfill the government’s spending on those critical programs, since these dollars are being rerouted to campaign coffers. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that this fund will pay out more than $3.4 billion in the next decade – why should these taxpayer dollars go to political campaigns instead of to other critical services for the American people?
Claim: Iowa’s voter ID laws are similar to the provision in H.R. 1 that allows people to use a “sworn statement” to vote.
Reality: H.R. 1 overrides voter identification laws at the state level and creates a nationwide mandate that any individual can present a sworn statement, signed by themselves, as a valid form of voter identification. This bill overrides existing Iowa law and that of any of the other states that have stronger voter identification laws.
Claim: Congresswoman Hinson didn’t work to make the bill better and is “engaging in typical Washington politics.”
Reality: Congresswoman Hinson supported several amendments that would have improved the bill, including a group of five amendments that passed on a bipartisan basis. Unfortunately, she was unable to support the final package, which is why she wrote an opinion editorial in an effort to be transparent with her constituents on why she opposed the nearly 800-page federal election overhaul.