U.S Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a former Montgomery County, Iowa, commissioner of elections, today spoke on the Senate floor blasting the Democrats’ radical proposal that would force taxpayers to pay for politicians’ political campaigns, eliminate voter ID requirements at the polls, and put Washington, D.C. bureaucrats in charge of America’s local and state-run elections systems.
Senator Ernst’s full remarks are below:
“In each new Congress, the bill number ‘S. 1’ is assigned to the Majority’s priority legislation.
“It says a lot about the new Democrat majority that the bill they chose to design as S. 1 prioritizes…themselves.”
“This bill creates a federal campaign fund to finance the expenses of candidates for Congress.
“Instead of addressing the important issues that are on the minds of my fellow Iowans—like the rising cost of gasoline, bread, milk, and all sorts of household goods—this bill literally takes money out of the paychecks of working Americans and puts it into the campaign coffers, yes, of Washington politicians.
“Rather than helping get Americans back to work, the Democrats’ top priority is to create a federal jobs program for political consultants and pollsters.
“Taxpayer-subsidized robocalls interrupting your family dinner, junk mail cluttering your mailbox, and attack ads blaring, yes, on your TV.
“And folks, you can’t, cannot, unsubscribe either, because there is no opting out.
“Think about the politician you dislike the most…now imagine your tax dollars funding their ads and fliers and campaign parties and rallies…that’s what this bill does.
“That’s right, the bill subsidizes politicians’ campaigns…your tax dollars helping to elect politicians who oppose your values.
“This idea is so unpopular, a New York poll found that the Majority Leader’s own constituents oppose public funding of campaigns by a 3-to-1 margin.
“While the Democrats call the bill, the ‘For the People Act,’ a more apt title would be ‘Fund the Politicians Act.’
“It is about Washington politicians—the same ones who just brought back earmarks to pay for their pet pork projects with your tax dollars—prioritizing themselves.
“The bill not only subsidizes the campaigns of politicians, it also nationalizes elections.
“Washington would tell the rest of the country how you can select your representatives.
“It does so by creating a federal work-around of state voter ID laws by effectively eliminating the enforcement of state ID requirements at the polls.
“Think about what you’re required to show an ID to do…drive a car, board a plane, buy a beer, and the list goes on.
“But Democrats think it’s best if we don’t require an ID to vote.
“The majority of Americans disagree with Washington Democrats. 77 percent of voters support voter ID.
“And a little known fact: this includes support by 63 percent of Democrats and a vast majority of Black and Hispanic voters.
“It’s all part of the Democrats’ larger scheme and total power grab to tilt our political system in their favor: first, eliminate the filibuster, then, rig elections by eliminating election integrity laws—like voter ID verification—then add new states, like the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that will elect Democrat senators, and don’t forget the plan to pack the Court.
“There are just 50 Democratic senators, but 60 votes are required to end debate on legislation in the Senate.
“Therefore, the Democrats must eliminate the filibuster in order to pass S. 1.—their priority legislation.
“That’s right, changing the rules in order to fundamentally change the country.
“And I would remind folks: my friends across the aisle are seeking to abolish the very same tool – the filibuster – they used 327 times last year alone when they were in the minority.
“If they choose to change the rules, they would destroy this chamber’s long, proud history as being the world’s greatest deliberative body.
“The Senate’s current Assistant Majority Leader made it clear, very clear, in 2018 in no uncertain terms that ending the filibuster ‘would be the end of the Senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our Founding Fathers.’
“Because the take-over of elections is just as radical and largely unconstitutional, the Democrats’ court-packing scheme is another key component of enshrining S. 1.
“Folks, we can all see this for what it is, a transparent play for permanent political power.
“This is not about democracy. It’s about changing the rules and tipping the scales to favor Washington Democrats.
“As a former local elections commissioner, I believe elections are always best kept at the state and local level, and I will continue to push back on my colleagues’ attempts to federalize our elections.”