sunny.png
Tuesday June 25th, 2019 9:52AM

House OKs election overhaul, but Senate likely to slam door

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly empowered House Democrats approved a centerpiece of their agenda Friday, a sweeping plan to reduce the role of big money in politics, ensure fair elections and strengthen ethics standards. But the leader of Republican-run Senate has pledged it will not come up for a vote and the White House issued a veto threat.

The measure would make it easier for people to register and vote, tighten election security and require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.

Election Day would become a holiday for federal workers and a public financing system for congressional campaigns would be established. The bill would bar voter roll purges such as those seen in Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere, and restore voting rights for ex-prisoners.

The legislation was approved 234-193 on a straight party-line vote, with all Democrats voting "yes" and all Republicans voting "no."

Republicans called the bill a Democratic power grab that amounts to a federal takeover of elections and could cost billions of dollars. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the proposal was dead on arrival in that chamber.

The White House said in a statement that the Democrats' plan would "micromanage" elections that now are run largely by states and would establish "costly and unnecessary programs to finance political campaigns" and force taxpayers to fund federal candidates they may not support.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill "restores the people's faith that government works for the public interest — the people's interest — not the special interests."

Trying to turn Republicans' words against them, Pelosi said, "Yes it is a power grab — a power grab on behalf of the people."

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the legislation would undermine the integrity of elections by allowing convicted felons to vote, and would apply a one-size-fits-all standard to elections now run by states and local governments.

The bill stands in contrast to legislation Republicans promoted when they controlled the chamber in the last Congress, McCarthy said, citing a massive tax cut they pushed through that was intended to jump-start the economy. "Our bill returned taxpayer money to the people. Theirs takes tax money and gives it to campaigns."

Democrats have criticized the GOP tax cut as a boon to the rich and to corporations. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said most middle-income taxpayers should see a reduction this year although the tax law benefits higher earners more.

Democrats on Friday said McCarthy was mischaracterizing the election-overhaul bill.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said it "grabs power away from the elites and the power brokers and gives it to the people."

She and other Democrats disputed the claim that taxpayers will pay for campaigns, noting that money for political campaigns would come from a surcharge on federal settlements made with banks and corporations that run afoul of the law.

This bill would allow "everyday Americans to become power brokers" with small contributions of $50 or $75 that would be matched at a 6-to-1 rate by the government, said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., the bill's main author.

Still, Republicans warned that the price tag could run into the billions.

"Regardless of what they disguise it as, make no mistake that the position of Democrats is to fund politicians' campaigns using taxpayer funds," said Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill.

The bill also "weakens safeguards to voting and registration practices that open the door to fraud" and attempts to limit free speech, Davis said, citing disclosure requirements for political donations.

The bill would create automatic national voter registration while expanding access to early and online registration. It would prohibits voter roll purges such as those seen in Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere, and increase federal support for state voter systems, including paper ballots to prevent fraud.

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking leader, said voting-roll purges and other voter suppression have prevented thousands of people from voting in Georgia, North Carolina and other states.

"We need to be facilitating people voting — protecting voters' rights and making it easier to register and vote," he said in an interview. "It seems to me that's an American value."

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., said he and other first-term lawmakers ran on an anti-corruption platform that helped deliver a Democratic majority last fall. "We are changing the way politics is run in this country," he said.

___

Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, General Senate Election News, General House Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
International Women's Day: Strikes, protests and holidays
International Women's Day is being marked across the globe Friday under the slogan #BalanceforBetter, with calls for a more gender-balanced world
2:29PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Trump sees massive damage in Alabama from deadly tornado
President Donald Trump is surveying the damage that was left behind in a rural Alabama town after a powerful tornado roared through, killing nearly two dozen people
2:22PM ( 10 minutes ago )
UConn's Samuelson to miss American tourney with back injury
UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson will not play in the American Athletic Conference tournament this weekend because of a back injury suffered last Saturday against Houston
2:19PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Warren says tech giants have 'too much power,' need breakup
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says the technology industry is too heavily concentrated among the biggest companies and she has a plan to address that
1:55PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Sanders' 'Medicare-for-all' expands long-term care benefits
Sen. Bernie Sanders is raising the stakes of the "Medicare-for-all" debate by expanding his proposal to include long-term care
1:52PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Nevada Democrats propose early voting for 2020 caucuses
Nevada Democrats are proposing major changes to their presidential caucuses that could dramatically alter the way candidates compete in the state, opening the process to an early-vote and virtual participation
1:37PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UK leader warns Brexit may never happen unless deal approved
Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to pressure U.K. lawmakers to support her Brexit deal, warning that if they vote down the agreement next week, Britain may never leave the European Union at all
12:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Omar praises condemnation of anti-Muslim, other bigotry
Omar, other House Muslims praise 'historic' vote as 1st resolution to condemn 'anti-Muslim bigotry'
12:20PM ( 2 hours ago )
House OKs election overhaul package, but Senate to slam door
The Democratic-controlled House has approved legislation aimed at reducing the role of big money in politics, ensuring fair elections and strengthening ethics standards
12:17PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Bill Shine resigns White House communications post
Former Fox News executive Bill Shine has resigned as White House communications director and has joined President Donald Trump's re-election campaign as a senior adviser
12:07PM ( 2 hours ago )
Measure on bigotry, anti-Semitism sparks debate
House votes to condemn anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bias
4:58AM ( 9 hours ago )
Ukrainian presidential ballot to have 39 names
The ballot for Ukraine's presidential election will include 39 candidates, a marginally slimmer field after five contenders dropped out in recent days
4:50AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections
Iran cleric linked to 1988 mass executions to lead judiciary
A hard-line cleric once thought to be a possible successor to Iran's supreme leader appears poised to take over as the head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary
11:47AM ( 1 day ago )
Ukraine: Tymoshenko promises prison for military embezzlers
Ukrainian presidential candidate has promised life imprisonment for anyone found guilty in alleged military corruption that reportedly includes incumbent Petro Poroshenko
10:31AM ( 1 day ago )
Sanders' 2016 backers in New Hampshire holding back for now
Days after Bernie Sanders announced his second run for president, prominent New Hampshire supporters of the democratic socialist's first campaign said they have not decided if they will support him again.
3:11AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Wendy Davis says she's also mulling Texas Senate run in 2020
Wendy Davis of Texas says she's considering a U.S. Senate run in 2020 but is waiting to see whether another high-profile Democrat, Rep. Joaquin Castro, gets in the race
4:40PM ( 2 days ago )
Rep. Joaquin Castro 'seriously' considering Texas Senate run
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas is acknowledging that he's "seriously considering" running for U.S. Senate in 2020 against Republican John Cornyn
10:57AM ( 1 week ago )
Brother: Rep. Joaquin Castro mulling run against Sen. Cornyn
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro says his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, is considering a big run of his own in 2020 _ a bid for U.S. Senate against Republican John Cornyn
8:01PM ( 1 week ago )
General Senate Election News
Cohen's 4th day of testimony could touch on Russia, finances
President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen returns to Capitol Hill for a fourth day of testimony as Democrats pursue investigations into Trump's White House, businesses and campaign
11:01AM ( 2 days ago )
Schiff hires staff with intelligence ties for Trump probes
The House intelligence committee chairman has hired new staff with experience in the intelligence community and law enforcement
2:30PM ( 3 days ago )
Speedy deadline for candidates in North Carolina election
Next week starts a new round of elections in the nation's last unresolved congressional race after November's results were thrown out because of concerns about ballot tampering and state officials called for a do-over
9:38AM ( 3 days ago )
General House Election News
Women's national soccer team players sue for equitable pay
Players for the U.S. women's national soccer team have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit seeking pay that is equitable to that of their male counterparts
1:37PM ( 55 minutes ago )
The Latest: US gives time for Venezuela sanctions compliance
The Trump administration is granting U.S. companies more time to comply with sanctions barring transactions with Venezuela's state-run oil company
1:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Massive Venezuela power outage raises tensions amid crisis
Much of Venezuela was engulfed by darkness into Friday amid one of the largest power outages in years, raising tensions in a country already on edge from ongoing political turmoil
1:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Cohen delivers more documents to lawmakers
Michael Cohen has turned over documents to lawmakers as he tries to back up his claims that a false statement he delivered to Congress in 2017 was edited by the president's attorneys
8:59PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Cohen says he'll 'continue to cooperate'
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, says he will "continue to cooperate" with investigators
5:39PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Cohen hands over documents about Moscow project
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, has turned over documents to the House Intelligence Committee that are related to a Trump real estate project in Moscow, The Associated Press has learned
1:24PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Trump sees massive damage in Alabama from deadly tornado
President Donald Trump is surveying the damage that was left behind in a rural Alabama town after a powerful tornado roared through, killing nearly two dozen people
2:22PM ( 10 minutes ago )
UConn's Samuelson to miss American tourney with back injury
UConn All-American Katie Lou Samuelson will not play in the American Athletic Conference tournament this weekend because of a back injury suffered last Saturday against Houston
2:19PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Fleetwood makes 2 eagles, sets target at Bay Hill
Tommy Fleetwood makes 2 eagles, takes early lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational
2:14PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump: I couldn't get to Alabama 'fast enough'
President Donald Trump says he couldn't get to Alabama "fast enough" after a tornado struck a rural area and killed 23 people
2:14PM ( 18 minutes ago )
US wages rise by most in decade even as hiring tumbles
US wages rise by most in decade in February even as hiring tumbles
2:07PM ( 25 minutes ago )